HA NOI — While central hospitals in inner Ha Noi are overloaded, a newly built hospital with 250 beds in Gia Lam District is proving slow to attract patients.
Gia Lam General Hospital, about 14km from the city centre, cost VND280 billion (US$13.3 million) and covers an area of 28,000sq.m.
Since it was opened in February, the hospital has had only four resident patients: four women giving birth. About 700 patients have had health checks there and there have been 50 emergency cases.
Nguyen Thi Van Anh, of the district's Yen Vien Town, said she went to the hospital to have prenatal check-ups but did not trust its quality.
"The hospital is quite clean but doesn't have much equipment or many doctors. The electricity and water infrastructure is not completed yet," she said.
Gia Lam Hospital is away from residential areas and the road to the hospital is under construction, so it is difficult to get to.
"My family and I decided to go to the Ha Noi Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynaecology where there are more good doctors," she said.
Hospital director Dang Van Dung said the equipment, electricity, water and air-conditioners were still being installed so patients were hesitant to go there.
It was expected to be completed in October.
The hospital also had few doctors because it had few patients so doctors didn't want to work there as their incomes would be low, said Dung.
The hospital has 14 wards, but only 25 doctors. As many as 15 more doctors are required by regulation.
"We will take recently graduated doctors with little experience, and have promised to support them with expenses to study more, but few of them accept," said Dung.
To attract more patients, Dung hoped the municipal Department of Health would rotate doctors from central hospitals such as Viet Nam-Germany, Saint Paul and Paediatrics hospitals to Gia Lam Hospital.
"If we create public confidence, we will get more patients and then improve our doctors' skills," he said.
In some leading hospitals in the city, like Bach Mai or Viet Nam-Germany, bed use was about 160 per cent, the municipal Department of Health said. A doctor in the National Paediatrics Hospital said she checked the health of at least 60 children a day. — VNS