Ho Chi Minh City is now home to around 14,000 private healthcare centres, but none of them provide treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHs), according to Dr. Nguyen Huu Tung, General Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Medical Practitioners Society.
PLWHs need more public care
According to the Ministry of Health’s regulations, all healthcare establishments, including private ones, can provide treatment to PLWHs if they meet all requirements for medical checks-up and treatment.
However private healthcare centres are not accepting PLWHs because of fears among other patients of infection treatment. Poor attitudes among health staff at these private clinics have also be cited.
None of the private healthcare centres in the city meet the requirements to conduct HIV/AIDS tests, which means that health insurance agencies are not prepared to issue payments for PLWHs using the private centres.
Only HIV/AIDS prevention projects at state-owned healthcare establishments have so far received funding from the state budget or international organisations.
Trinh Thi Le Tram, Director of the Centre for Consulting on Legal and Policy on Health and HIV/AIDS, said, private healthcare centre discrimination against PLWHs have affected the country’s efforts to reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS cases. She added that the Ministry of Health should issue legal regulations to mobilise participation by the centres in the fight against HIV/AIDS and drug addiction.