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A doctor without borders

Professor Thi Minh Tam Ta from Vietnam explains why international exchange is essential in the area of mental health

Jessica KraußJessica Krauß, 03.04.2024
Professor Ta is a consultant in psychiatry and psychotherapy.
Professor Ta is a consultant in psychiatry and psychotherapy. © Jessica Krauß, Fazit

Some people live to build international networks. We’d like you to meet some people who symbolise Germany’s partnerships around the world. After all, global challenges can only be overcome by if we work together. 

Thi Minh Tam Ta wants to improve mental health care in her home country of Vietnam. After graduating with a degree in medicine, she came to Germany in 2006 to get to know the German healthcare system and do her PhD. Now she is a professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy and works as a consultant and senior physician at the special psychiatric and psychotherapy outpatient department for Vietnamese migrants at Berlin’s Charité hospital. She also runs various international projects on mental health in Vietnam. She knows the areas in which Vietnam and Germany can learn from one another and why international exchange is so important in the healthcare sector.

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You have set up a hospital partnership between Germany and Vietnam. What sort of exchange takes place between the two partners?

The Hospital Partnerships programme is aimed at fostering cooperation and mutual support between various hospitals or healthcare institutions in Germany and the Global South. Within this framework, one of the institutions we at the Charité have been working with since 2016 is Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam’s leading medical university. The declaration of intent signed in 2010 places the emphasis on research, teaching and quality of treatment. The cooperation has already improved psychiatric care in Vietnam considerably. In 2024, we plan to jointly stage the first international conference to boost clinical psychology and psychotherapy.

International cooperation is an expression of joint responsibility.
Thi Minh Tam Ta, senior physician at the Charité hospital

Why is international cooperation on healthcare matters important?

International exchange is vital if we are to overcome global health challenges, promote equal opportunities and ensure the wellbeing of the population worldwide. The cooperation is an expression of joint responsibility and of the realisation that health is a global public good.

What is planned for the future?

We have just launched projects to improve the provision of mental health care for the LGBTQI+ community and for children and young people. Furthermore, we plan to expand our partnerships with hospitals in Vietnam and hope to establish cooperation with Laos, Cambodia and Taiwan.