|Medical workers screen people at the District 11 Health Centre in HCM City before providing COVID-19 vaccines. VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — The grassroots health system, which plays a major role as a first-line defence against COVID-19, is being strengthened in HCM City in response to the pandemic.
The city’s grassroots health system is underdeveloped due to a lack of investment in medical equipment and facilities, training of human resources, and application of information technology, said Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, deputy director of the city’s Department of Health.
There are no incentive policies in place to attract the private health system to participate in the grassroots system, Châu said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated its limitations. Mobilising human resources as well as medical equipment are needed in the short term to strengthen the grassroots health system at the ward and commune levels, he added.
Secretary of the Thủ Đức City Party’s Committee Nguyễn Văn Hiếu said that city authorities ordered the Thủ Đức City Health Centre and hospitals in the city to employ additional medical staff to maintain 8-12 medical workers at each ward-level health station.
Retired doctors and nurses are encouraged to support health stations in response to COVID-19, Hiếu said.
Nguyễn Ngọc Anh, deputy chairman of Gò Vấp District People’s Committee, said 16 mobile health stations would be set up to provide access to community-based healthcare and treatment of COVID-19 infections.
Gò Vấp General Hospital will set up a new department with 40 beds for treatment of COVID-19 infections.
Lê Đức Thanh, chairman of District 1, said the district would pour additional investment in medical equipment and facilities to strengthen community healthcare.
A lack of medical human resources is the most serious challenge.
Private health facilities can also allocate limited medical human resources to provide healthcare and treatment for people with COVID-19.
In District 10, seven mobile stations and a quarantine facility at the Thành Thái apartment have maintained operation because of the pandemic.
Bùi Thế Hải, deputy chairman of the District 10 People’s Committee, said that private clinics would be asked to employ human resources for 14 mobile health stations when needed.
He said that city authorities should allocate medical staff for health stations and offer them appropriate salaries and benefits.
Twelve mobile health stations located at private health facilities have opened in District 7.
Nguyễn Thị Bé Ngoan, deputy chairwoman of the district People’s Committee, said that private health facilities should participate in operating mobile health stations to support the response to the pandemic in the district and in industrial parks and export processing zones.
The district plans to set up 19 mobile health stations run by private health facilities. —VNS