Using data from the Viet Nam Population Health Programme Population Health Study, co-led by the SSRC’s Vietnam Program and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and sponsored by The Atlantic Philanthropies, “Strengthening Commune Health Centers in Vietnam” assesses the impact of investments in rural commune health centers (CHCs) by Atlantic, the Vietnamese government, and other international donors. The longitudinal Study gathered data on healthcare facility utilization and self-report health in two rounds (2009 and 2013).

Findings from the Study suggest that:

  • The ability of CHCs to attract patients depended as much on CHC leadership and management as it did on the investments in physical infrastructure, high-tech equipment, and staff expertise.
  • Among different types of investments in CHCs, the program in maternal and child health had a greater positive impact on patients’ choices of CHCs over other health care providers for acute and chronic illnesses.
  • Government policy should allow for greater flexibility in the CHC model, including more local initiatives and differentiating models of CHCs for different parts of the country.


To learn more about the Population Health Study and its findings, please see:


This report is also available on The Atlantic Philanthropies website.

Publication Details

Strengthening Commune Health Centers in Vietnam
Luong, Hy Van
Social Science Research Council
Publish Date
November 2018
Luong, Hy Van, Strengthening Commune Health Centers in Vietnam (Social Science Research Council, November 2018).