|A volunteer helps a patient at hospital in HCM City. The HCM City Youth Federation and Department of Health has signed a co-operative agreement with four hospitals that will take part in the city's Patient Assistance Programme. — Photo medinet.hochiminhcity.gov.vn
HCM CITY— The HCM City Youth Federation and Department of Health has signed a co-operative agreement with four hospitals that will take part in the city's Patient Assistance Programme.
The programme uses volunteers, mostly university students, to help with hospital paperwork, guide patients around hospitals and explain regulations, including a smoking ban.
The hospitals which joined the programme this week were Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Paediatrics No. 2, Tu Du Obstetrics and District 2 General Hospital.
The volunteers also provide assistance to health staff in transporting patients between different hospital wards. They also organise music shows at the hospitals and charity meals for disadvantaged patients.
The programme aims to reduce the waiting time for patients and cut the workload of workload for nurses and administrative officers by 30 per cent..
The volunteers also speak with people about illegal brokers who operate outside the hospitals, encouraging patients to visit health clinics in exchange for an illegal payment.
The programme has been piloted since late 2013 at the hospitals of Cho Ray, Oncology, Gia Dinh, and Hematology and Blood Transfusion, with more than 15,000 volunteers.
More than 300,000 patients have benefited from the work, which is carried out by volunteers working with the HCM City Youth Social Work Centre. — VNS