Many Ministries of Health are trying to improve the functioning of their health care system by introducing changes in resource allocation, better management and changes in the role of the government, such as more responsibility at lower levels through decentralisation. A prerequisite of a well-functioning system is a well-motivated workforce. The Ministry of Health in Viet Nam gives great importance to the development of a public health network, in order to provide good quality health care services. As most people live in rural areas, an extensive public health network is required in rural areas so as to provide appropriate care close to the people. This implies the need to keep sufficient qualified and motivated human resources in the rural areas.