|Children suffering from respiratory diseases are treated at the Paediatrics Hospital No 1 in HCM City. Public hospitals and health centres in the city have increased hospital fees by 10 per cent. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY (VNS) — Public hospitals and health centres in HCM City have increased hospital fees by 10 per cent over the last hike, according to the city's Department of Health.
As many as 29 city-level hospitals, 23 district-level hospitals and 322 health centres in wards and communes increased the fees under an official roadmap designed to raise funds for hospitals at a time of declining government subsidies.
HCM City's public hospitals and health centres have raised fees incrementally since last year.
Last year, the city increased fees for 477 technical services by 75 per cent and 1,519 services by 65 per cent under Circular No.4 issued by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance.
This year, the fees for technical services rose by an additional 10 per cent, and by June 1, 2016, another 15 per cent.
At a recent conference on hospital fees in Vung Tau-Ba Ria Province, Nguyen Nam Lien, head of Ministry of Health's Financial Planning Department, said that under the roadmap, hospital fees nationwide will be increased as salary costs for hospital staff will be taken from the hospital fees by 2016.
Hospital fees must be calculated on the basis of full recovery costs for direct services received by patients, he said.
The full recovery costs are for medicine and chemicals; consumable materials; electricity and waste; equipment maintenance; basic salary; annual depreciation and repair for medical equipment; and training and research.
In a previous hike in hospital fees in 2012 and 2014, the fees charged to patients only covered costs for medicines and chemicals; consumable materials; electricity and waste; and equipment maintenance.
"Hospitals have used 15 per cent of the increased hospital fees to buy more beds and to upgrade their facilities in order to reduce the sharing of beds and to provide better examination and treatment services," Lien said.
The full cost recovery policy for medical services will be applied widely across the board after 2018, he said.
As the state budget is limited, the fees will help reduce the State's subsidy for public hospitals. — VNS