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Phuong Chau GES© Case Study

Vietnam: Phuong Chau Hospital

Renowned OB-GYN Healthcare Group in Mekong Delta


Vietnam has made impressive advancements in reproductive health and maternal childcare in recent years. However, the country still records more than 600 maternal deaths and 10,000 neonatal deaths each year due to inadequate and limited access to healthcare during pregnancy, childbirth and early childhood.

Phuong Chau Hospital (“PCH” or the “Company”) was launched in 2011 to provide high-quality OB/GYN services to women in the greater Can Tho area, the largest city within the Mekong Delta. Dr. Ho established the hospital in response to concerns over the lack of quality maternal health care in the region. With a population of 17.5 million (20% of Vietnam’s total) and high population density, the region presented opportunities for healthcare services and interventions. Since its founding, PCH has expanded its offerings to other services, such as pediatrics, infertility treatment, neonatology, general medicine and andrology/urology.

Through its total, patient-centered care model,  PCH operates a 250 bed, privately-owned specialty hospital for women and newborns located in Can Tho. Due to an increase in the number of patients seeking treatment, a second facility was established Sa Dec, a provincial city in Dong Thap province, approximately 60km away from the Can Tho facility, which has a 90-bed capacity and delivers OB/GYN and pediatric services.

PCH offers superior maternal and neonatal care, significantly contributing to both the quality and capacity of healthcare facilities in the region, where state-owned hospitals run at over 130% of capacity and use outdated care models.

PCH drives women’s economic empowerment through its maternal and child healthcare services and its internal training program, which improves the skills of its female staff. Indirectly, PCH relieves pressure on the public health system, improving access to care for lower-income consumers.

Key Facts

Current Activities

  • In addition to expanding its range of medical services, PCH is also growing its geographical presence to other provinces/urban centers in the Mekong Delta. The approach is to build satellite clinics/hospitals to alleviate the capacity constraints of its Can Tho facility and serve more customers beyond the scope of its two facilities. As such, a third facility is being constructed in Soc Trang. This facility is designed to be a 150-bed hospital and will be completed and operational in early 2021.
  • Since its founding, Dr. Ho has focused on delivering quality services, seeking the necessary accreditations and process improvements, which has resulted in improved ratings based on Ministry of Health performance criteria. In addition, PCH works with external medical doctors and experts, focusing on ongoing training, including external and internal training focused on technical skills and overall patient care.
  • PCH seeks to improve the agency of female employees by providing them economic independence and a pathway to skills development that increases their personal autonomy and enhances their economic and social status. Research shows that when women have greater control over household investments, they spend more on children’s health and education, with positive effects on family well-being and economic growth.

Phuong Chau’s SEAF Gender Equality Score©

Vietnam’s Gender Demographics

  • According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2018, Vietnam ranked 77th out of 149 countries in terms of progress towards gender parity.
  • While Vietnam enjoys a healthy gender ratio of 0.98 (women/men), women are still adversely affected due to high population density and low access to quality healthcare. ​
  • Fertility in Southern Vietnam is the country’s lowest, in part due to the presence of Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City.​
  • Vietnam has recently experienced significant declines in nutritional outcomes, particularly in percent of children underweight and prevalence of stunting. Anemia represents a persistent issue, particularity among pregnant women and children under 5 years of age.

Women Economic Empowerment Highlights

Pay Equity

  • There is no disparity in salary payment between male and femaleemployees in the Company. The women/men compensation ratio for salaried employees is more than 95%. Among the top 10 percent of compensated employees, the compensation ratio is also the same
  • The Company has non-discriminatory compensation policies for salary raises for all employees, supporting pay equity

Benefits & Professional Development

  • PCH values developing its employees and is putting significant resources toward its training programs. The Company regularly organizes internal professional training for employees and sends key staff to study advanced professional training courses to update knowledge and gain on-the-job experience
  • In addition, the Company collaborates with Kishokai Medical Corporation, a leading Japanese maternal heath provider, in the area of skills, technical and operational enhancement. These efforts equip its employees with rigorous industry standards that are recognized worldwide

Workforce Participation

  • Women comprise more than 71% of the Company’s total workforce, principally serving as nurses. This ratio has remained stable
  • Historical data shows that the Company created around 60-100 jobs for women per year. Along with the growth of its current two facilities in Can Tho and Sa Dec, and the new facility going to be opened in early 2021, PCH will further facilitate quality job creation for women in the Mekong Delta area

Workplace Environment

  • As a general hospital, PCH satisfies all requirements for hygiene and safety in the workplace, as well as acquiring all certificates of environmental protection and fire protection
  • During the last three years, PCH has steered its operation standards practices towards the globally recognized Joint Commission International (JCI) standards in providing safe and effective care for their patients

Leadership & Governance

  • PCH was founded by Dr. Ho, a female OB/GYN specialist with 20+ years of experience
  • PCH Board of Directors is 17% women and 64% of manager positions in the Pediatrics, Nursing, Quality Control, and Postnatal departments are filled by women

Women Powered Value Chains

  • Due to the nature of its products & services, 70% of PCH’s clients are women. PCH provides further women’s empowerment given its OB-GYN heritage. Collaboration with Kishokai Medical Corporation allows its patients to enjoy Japanese-style perinatal care, providing access to the highest quality maternal health services to women