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VietNamNews

Health sector PPPs still face challenges

Update: October, 26/2016 - 10:27
Patients register for checkup at the An Sinh Hospital in HCM City. — Photo ansinh.com.vn

HCM CITY — The cooperation between public and private hospitals in easing hospital overcrowding has been considered an effective model, however, according to hospital representatives, the biggest hindrance to develop public-private partnerships (PPP) in the health sector is hospital fees.

HCM City is the leading locality launching the cooperation model. Public hospitals in the city are always crowded, with a high frequency of shared beds. In contrast, despite modern devices and facilities, private hospitals struggle to attract patients.

“Taking advantage of human resources and empty beds at private hospitals is one of the measures to reduce overloading at public medical facilities in the city,” Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy director of HCM City’s health department said.

Six hospitals in the city have officially joined PPP. Chợ Rẫy Hospital and Nhân Dân (People) 115 Hospital signed cooperation contracts with City International General Hospital. Phúc An Khang International Hospital cooperates with District 2 Hospital. Oncology Hospital partners with Hồng Đức General Hospital.

The PPP model involves exchanges of doctors and patients. If patients agree to be treated at a private hospital, the patients will only have to pay the difference in fees between the two hospitals.

Under the cooperation, patients will no longer have to suffer crowding at public hospitals, can still be treated by doctors of public hospitals, and enjoy advanced technology from private ones.

The PPP route has helped reduce overloading and shorten surgery time. Six months after the partnership, bed-use capacity of private Hồng Đức Hospital has risen from 30 per cent to over 90 per cent.

A major problem causing patients to hesitate is the higher hospital fees at private facilities, which makes PPP in the health sector not as efficient as expected.

Doctor Diệp Bảo Tuấn, deputy director of Oncology Hospital said that Hồng Đức Hospital has supported hospital fees for patients wishing to move from Oncology Hospital. Patients have to pay private hospital fees that are about 22 per cent higher than those of the public hospital. For many patients, the fee remains relatively high.

“Patients have to pay more but they have better treatment conditions and modern medical equipment, without having to wait for long or share beds,” a representative of Hồng Đức Hospital said.

Doctor Phan Văn Báu, director of Nhân Dân 115 Hospital said that the collaboration between Nhân Dân 115 Hospital and City International Hospital needed clear mechanisms because the two hospitals apply different rates of hospital fees and health insurance payment.

Others complained of the conflict in counting the extra income of doctors and suggested that the Ministry of Health roll out a legal basis for the partnership.  — VNS

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