Health minister: Hospitals remain overcrowded

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SaigonTimes English - 57 month(s) ago 1 readings

HCMC – The Health Ministry is seeking financial support for new hospital construction to reduce overloading at State-owned hospitals in major cities.

Health minister: Hospitals remain overcrowded

By Hien Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC – The Health Ministry is seeking financial support for new hospital construction to reduce overloading at State-owned hospitals in major cities.

Minister of Health Nguyen Quoc Trieu on Tuesday told a meeting with the Government that many hospital upgrade and construction projects could not be implemented due to lack of funding. Meanwhile, most hospitals are overloaded and do not meet checkup and treatment demand.

“The Government should give preferential finance policies to hospital construction projects and increase loans by 70% to 90% for major hospital construction projects,” Trieu said.

According to the Health Ministry, the Government should pour investment capital into major hospitals, including Bach Mai, Cho Ray, the National Communicable and Tropical Disease Center and Central Pediatric.

In 2008, the overload rate at central hospitals was 48.6%, at provincial level hospitals 25% and at communal level hospitals 15%. As of today, Vietnam has 18 beds per 10,000 people compared to the global average of 25 beds per 10,000 people.

Last year, the State owned hospitals gave checkups and treatment to 110 million out-patients and around 9 million in-patients. The main reason for the overloading is the increase of checkup and treatment demand and few new hospitals are built. In addition, the disease structure has changed from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases that increase the number of in-patients. The lack of health workers is also a cause.

To reduce overloading and improve the quality of checkups and treatment, the Health Ministry plans to build new hospitals in major cities and develop four hi-tech health care centers in Hanoi, HCMC, Hue and Danang.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung agreed with the ministry’s suggestion saying that the nation’s 86 million people had a great need for quality health care service.

“The sector should build a family doctor network and increase out-patient checkups at communal level health care centers to reduce overloading at major hospitals,” he added.

According to the Health Ministry, annual health care expenditure accounts for 5%-6% of the country’s total GDP.

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