Thanh Hoa City is the capital and only major urban center of Viet Nam’s third largest but second poorest and second most populous province of Thanh Hoa. With a population of 200,000 in 2008, rising by 1.9% per year, it was one of the 11 class II secondary cities targeted by government for development to limit migration to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Until project appraisal in 2008, Viet Nam’s public health sector was burdened with aged, physically degraded, and poorly equipped infrastructure. Congestion in the provincial facilities was common as patients bypassed less equipped district− and commune−level facilities. Provincial health staff knowledge and skills also needed improvement.
Viet Nam’s rapid economic growth during 2000–2010 resulted in structural changes that transformed the country from being heavily dependent on agriculture to becoming more modern and industrialized. These changes in turn led to an increasing demand for a more educated and highly skilled workforce that meets the requirements of a rapidly growing economy.
The project line is a section of the Eastern Economic Corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program. It opened in the early 1900s and runs for about 285 kilometers (km) northwest from Hanoi to Lao Cai City on the border with Yunnan province in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).