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Health plan sets bar too high, say officials

Update: December, 13/2012 - 10:15

 

Free medical examinations and medicine are provided to social welfare recipients in HCM City's District 3. The city's draft plan on the healthcare sector targets 15 doctors, 6 pharmacists and 25 nurses for every 10,000 persons in the city by 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HCM CITY (VNS)— A draft plan on the healthcare sector in HCM City would be difficult to implement, particularly the goals set on the number of doctors and the amount of capital to be mobilised, a seminar has been told.

The city's Fatherland Front Committee on Tuesday collected opinions on the healthcare development plan to 2020, with a vision to 2025.

The plan targets to have 15 doctors, at least 6 pharmacists and 25 nurses for every 10,000 persons in the city.

It also calls for the construction of several hospitals at HCM City's four entrance gates and centre areas. In addition, all city residents should have health insurance coverage by 2015.

Capital needed to implement the plan would be about VND16 trillion (US$761 million) in the 2012-15 period and VND4.15 trillion ($197 million) in the 2016-20 period.

Speaking at the seminar, Dang Van Khoa, a member of the city's Fatherland Front Committee, said the training for doctors and health officials would be difficult to be accomplished.

The city now has about 7,000 doctors and would have 15,000 doctors by 2015 under the plan.

Khoa questioned the feasibility of having an additional 8,000 new doctors within the next three years. Only an average of 1,000 doctors graduate each year.

Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the city's Department of Health, said patient overload at hospitals would be difficult to solve by 2020.

According to Tran Thanh Long, chairman of the Poor Patients Sponsoring Association, the city now has 42 hospital beds per 10,000 HCM City residents.

He said the proposal called for the same ratio, which would be insufficient.

Long pointed out that city hospitals treat local patients as well as patients from other provinces, so the number of hospital beds should be based on the total number of patients admitted to hospitals, not on the city's population.

The plan has also called for investment from all sources but it does not have detailed measures on how to implement this target, according to Long.

Huynh Van Minh, chairman of the HCM City Enterprises Association, said investors would not be interested in the healthcare-sector plan because it lacked details.

In addition, the plan did not include details about the health sector's current weaknesses and shortcomings. — VNS

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