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Cash-strapped Ha Noi hospitals to increase fees

Update: May, 08/2013 - 10:15

Hospital fees in Ha Noi are expected to rise by about five times from August 1 this year.— Photo VNS/hanoimoi

HA NOI (VNS)—Hospital fees in Ha Noi are expected to rise by about five times from August 1 this year if the proposal from the municipal Health Department is given the nod by the city's People's Council.

Under the proposal, the hospital fees in the city by 2014 will be 75 per cent of the maximum levels regulated by the Ministry of Health. Accordingly, the lowest fee will be VND15,000 (US$0.70),which is applied for clinical examination and the highest fee will be VND6.6 million ($300) for neuroimaging services.

It is scheduled that by 2015, the fees will be equal to the ministry's level.

The fee hike corresponds with the rise applied nation-wide following the Health Ministry's Circular 04 issued last year.

Deputy Director of the Ha Noi Department of Health Luu Thi Lien said the increases were necessary and urgent. The present fees were set up 18 years ago and were no longer appropriate.

At present many hospitals did not have enough funds to buy medicine, materials and equipment. It is regulated that hospitals should pay for medicine they bought within 30-50 days. However, due to a shortage of funds, many hospitals took four to five months to pay the bill.

With the new hospital fees, the department asked hospitals to improve their health check quality and simplify administrative procedures.

Medical workers are also warned to improve their ethics and behaviour towards patient services, said Lien.

Pham Luong Son, head of the Viet Nam Social Insurance's Policy Department, said that so far 61 out of 63 provinces and cities across the country had hospital fee increases approved by people's councils.

In March this year, the southern province of Tay Ninh People's Council approved new hospital fees, which were 60 per cent of the Ministry of Health's maximum levels. — VNS

Binh Thuan, Nam Dinh, Tay Ninh provinces and Hai Phong City applied the new hospital fees last month.



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