Viet Nam News
BÌNH THUẬN — Several commune-level clinics in the southern province of Bình Thuận’s Đức Linh District have not found favour with patients despite being equipped with modern facilities and qualified health workers.
Under a health insurance policy that came into effect at the beginning of last year, people with health insurance cards at the district level can get health check-ups or treatment at any health facility they want within their own district without requirements of referral papers as before.
As a result of the policy, most patients with health insurance in Đức Linh District went to the Bình Thuận General Hospital located in Đức Chính Commune, for check-ups and treatment instead of the clinics in their communes.
The five clinics in the Đức Tín, Đức Hạnh, Đức Tài, Đức Chính and Nam Chính communes have not received a single patient with health insurance since the end of last year, according to statistics from the district’s medical centre.
The number of patients with health insurance that the Đức Hạnh Commune’s clinic received decreased drastically from 780 in 2015 to 8 in 2016, and none from the beginning of this year.
The Đức Tài Commune’s clinic has also not received any patients with health insurance from June last year despite having begun operations at the beginning of the year at the total investment of VNĐ1.5 billion (US$66,000) and fully equipped with modern facilities such as ultrasound, electrocardiography (ECG) machines and blood glucose meters.
Not receiving patients with health insurance and severe illnesses hinder professional development of doctors and medical staff, doctors at these clinics said.
Nguyễn Ninh, deputy director of Đức Linh District’s medical centre said that locals preferred visiting the Bình Thuận General Hospital for check-ups “partly because of the proximity between the hospital and their communes’ clinics.”
“Some of them are wary about the capability of doctors at the commune clinics, their facilities and service quality,” he said.
The centre has requested the local clinics to improve their service quality and behavioural skills of health workers towards patients, reducing troublesome administrative procedures and maximising favourable conditions for patients to get access to medical services, he added.
It will also reach out to locals and ensure them about the capability of commune-level clinics in curing common and chronic diseases, he said. — VNS