Monday, May 21 2018

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HCM City mulls improvements to grassroots healthcare system

Update: April, 18/2018 - 10:05
The HCM City Department of Health plans to improve the quality of all grassroots-level health stations in the city to provide family medicine to reduce the overcrowding at hospitals. — Photo suckhoedoisong.vn

HCM CITY— The HCM City Department of Health plans to improve the quality of all grassroots-level health stations in the city to provide family medicine to reduce the overcrowding at hospitals.

In Việt Nam family medicine includes efficient first aid services and examination and treatment.

They also are required to continue with their preventive health activities.

Speaking at a meeting yesterday, Dr Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, the department’s deputy head, said health stations had been focusing more on preventive health rather than examination and treatment, but they should now improve the latter aspect.

People with disease have a psychology of prefering to go to hospitals than health stations, according to Hưng.

Besides, people with health insurance can go to any district-level hospital under a regulation that took effect in 2016.

“Private general clinics have sprung up throughout the city, leading to intense competition among health stations to attract patients.”

According to Dr Tăng Chí Thượng, another deputy head of the department, while few patients visit health stations, most hospitals, even district-level ones, suffer from overcrowding.

Once health stations begin to draw some of the patients going to hospitals, they would help reduce the overcrowding, he said.

He instructed every district-level hospital in the city to set up a general health clinic on a pilot basis.

Nguyễn Thị Thu, city People’s Committee vice chairwoman, has called for expanding this model since it has become very popular in some wards in Thủ Đức and Tân Phú districts, where it has been piloted for two years.

Dr Nguyễn Minh Quân, director of the Thủ Đức District Hospital which set up general health clinics in some local wards, said "they are convenient for locals and offer basic tests and treatment".

“They get more and more residents patients,100 to 150 patients every day.”

A health station official in Tân Quý Ward in Tân Phú District said his general clinic too was very popular just like the ones in Thủ Đức.

All health stations should sign up with the Việt Nam Social Security and provide basic drugs to patients like district-level hospitals do to achieve success, he said.

Besides, they should have at least two doctors, he added.

According to Thượng the general clinics, which treat a variety of ailments, are merely an outpost of district-level hospitals and can help increase the latter’s revenues.

Health stations should focus on treating non-communicable diseases, he said.

“But it is to be expected that the number of patients coming to these stations will be less than those visiting the general clinics.”

He was referring to the fact that the public trusts the clinics more than the stations since they are run by district hospitals.VNS

 

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