Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien (2nd, L) at her meeting with HCMC
on the healthcare sector on Tuesday.
The city has 50 projects to build new hospitals and upgrade existing ones, said a representative of the HCMC Department of Health at a meeting with the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.
Seven new healthcare facilities will be developed in the city’s outlying districts to ease the burden now shouldered by the hospitals in the downtown area. Such projects are the general hospitals in Cu Chi and Hoc Mon, the orthopedic hospital and the medical testing center in Saigon South, the Thu Duc general hospital and the branch of the Oncology Hospital in District 9, and the pediatric hospital in Binh Chanh.
These seven projects require a total of VND13 trillion, including VND8 trillion from the city’s budget and VND5 trillion in private-sector capital. These projects are expected for completion in 2015 and will add 5,500 hospital beds to the current 31,088.
Developing new hospitals is considered a measure to deal with the current overload at the city’s hospitals. However, most of the projects are making slow progress given funding constraints, while there have emerged problems with site clearance, land planning and expensive foreign design consultancy.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said at the meeting that HCMC could hardly rely on the money raised from government bond sales and sourced from the ministry to finance the hospital projects, especially at a time when the Government is tightening public spending.
Since new hospitals are not up and running in 3-4 years’ time, Minister Tien suggested, centrally-managed hospitals transfer their technology to district-level hospitals, and the renowned hospitals should join hands with certain district hospitals and let them serve as their branches.
Tien cited surveys by several centrally-run hospitals saying that 40-60% of the patients could receive effective examinations and treatments at district-level hospitals, but still preferred higher-level hospitals.
A report by the city’s health department showed that patients from other provinces coming to HCMC for medical examinations and treatments increased from 34.8% of the total in 2008 to 39.1% in 2010 and 40.8% in 2011. Inpatients from other localities also picked up from 52.6% in 2008 to 58.2% last year. SGT