City retains COVID healthcare following closure of temporary hospitals, departure of outside medical staff

Update: October, 15/2021 - 09:01


Medical workers at Việt Đức Hospital from Hà Nội treat COVID-19 patients at a resuscitation centre in HCM City run by the hospital. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — Health establishments in HCM City and medical workers still have enough capacity to treat COVID-19 patients after medical workers from other parts of the country were recalled around October 15.

Dr Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, deputy head of the city Department of Health, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the city has seen a drop in the number of new COVID-19 incidences.

The city still maintains more than 30 health establishments with nearly 30,000 beds, enough for treating COVID-19 patients.

The city needs at least 900 beds with ventilators and monitors, and 3,000 beds with oxygen systems to become “independent” in treating COVID-19 patients without reliance on staff from outside the city. Medical workers in the city must have professional knowledge about resuscitation and contagious diseases. 

The city has 10 resuscitation centres, including three run by Bạch Mai, Việt Đức, and Huế Central hospitals. These centres will be integrated with field hospitals No 13,14 and 16 after medical workers from these hospitals are recalled.

The HCM City University Medical Centre will run the resuscitation centre of Việt Đức Hospital in the city. The Bạch Mai Hospital’s resuscitation centre in the city will be run by Gia Định People’s Hospital.

The Huế Central Hospital’s resuscitation centre in the city will be run by People’s Hospital 115.

Dr Phan Văn Báu, director of People’s Hospital 115 which runs Huế Central Hospital’s resuscitation centre, said that his medical workers have good professional knowledge and skills. They are treating COVID-19 patients at People’s Hospital 115 and are in charge of resuscitation for Thủ Đức Resuscitation Hospital and Bình Chánh COVID-19 Treatment Hospital.

Other representatives of the health department noted that some local medical workers lacked knowledge and training in resuscitation and contagious diseases. So the city is focusing on training local medical staff to replace the trained staff that have left or will leave the city.   

Medical workers at hospitals in the city have been learning from other skilled staff at the resuscitation centres. According to the city's Department of Health, medical workers at hospitals have been assigned by turns to work at field hospitals to improve their resuscitation skills.   

The city is upgrading health establishments at the grassroots level and adjusting policies, including raising salaries, to attract medical workers. These health establishments will be used to treat COVID-19 patients in the future if cases increase again.

The Department of Health has proposed allowing the private sector to invest in medical stations at wards and communes as well as home-base health care services.

Roadmap for dispatched medical workers

Speaking at a press meeting last week, Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of the department’s office, said that at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak’s fourth wave since April 27, 36,000 cases were hospitalised.

More than 6,700 doctors and nurses were dispatched from other part of the country to help the city at that time, Mai said.

Tăng Chí Thượng, the department’s head, said that thanks to timely assistance, the city has enough medical workers for treating COVID-19 patients at hospitals and at home.   

The city has seen a drop in the number of new COVID-19 incidences and an increase of recovered patients discharged from hospitals. As a result, the city has changed the function of COVID-19 treatment hospitals and the dispatched medical workers have been recalled under the Ministry of Health’s instruction.

Trần Chánh Xuân, director of Củ Chi COVID-19 Hospital, said that it has more than 500 beds, patients last week occupied 40 per cent of total beds.

Phạm Như Hiệp, director of Huế Central Hospital, said the city still has severe COVID-19 cases and needs medical workers, so the latter will continue to stay in the city until the year end.

The city will gradually close field hospitals until December after more than three months of operation. These include field hospitals No.3, 6, 8, and 5 in Thủ Đức city and District 5.

Beginning in July, 16 city-level field hospitals with nearly 37,000 beds were set up to treat asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those with mild symptoms in the city.

The Department of Health has maintained the operation of district-level field hospitals to treat those who did not meet the criteria for home-based treatment.     

The district-level field hospitals located in schools will be removed to new facilities in districts. The department has instructed district authorities to use public land to set up field hospitals for use over a long period of time.  

Central-level hospitals said their medical workers have been recalled, but they will continue to help the city via the telemedicine system. — VNS