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Hospital charges to rise: Ministry

Update: April, 15/2015 - 08:42
"The full cost recovery policy would be applied across the board after 2018, and this would reduce subsidies". — Photo tienphong

BA RIA-VUNG TAU (VNS) — Hospital fees will continue to rise since staff salaries will be paid from hospitals' revenues from next year, the Ministry of Health's financial planning department has warned.

The fees must be calculated on the basis of recovering the full cost of direct services provided for patients, Nguyen Nam Lien, the department head, told a conference held to discuss the ministry's road map for hiking hospital fees and universal health insurance coverage held by the Ministry of Health in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The costs to be recovered were for medicines and chemicals, consumable materials, electricity and waste, equipment maintenance, basic salaries, annual depreciation and repairs of medical equipment, and training and researching, he said.

When the fees were hiked previously in 2012 and 2014 patients were charged only for medicines and chemicals, consumable materials, electricity and waste, and equipment maintenance.

"Hospitals have used 15 per cent of the additional fees to buy more beds and upgrade their facilities to reduce sharing of beds and provide better examination and treatment," Lien said.

The full cost recovery policy would be applied across the board after 2018, and this would reduce subsidies, he said.

Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the ministry's medical examination and treatment department, said increasing hospital fees was one way to help hospitals have more funds to improve the quality of examination and treatment.

It would also help hospitals have more money to hire more doctors, he said.

Lien said it was a very important fact that when the basic salaries of hospitals staff are paid from hospital fees, the staff's attitude towards patients would improve.

Moreover, hospitals, especially at the grassroots level, would then have more funds to perform new and more advanced procedures, leading to reduction of overload at city and central hospitals, he said.

Increasing the fees would also create fair competition between public and private hospitals, he said. — VNS

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