Friday, August 14 2020


Overcrowding strains HCMC hospitals, doctors

Update: January, 31/2018 - 10:31

 Many hospitals in HCM City face chronic overcrowding as they provide service for local patients as well as those from other provinces. — Photo

HCM CITY Many hospitals in HCM City face chronic overcrowding as they provide service for local patients as well as those from other provinces. Patients from outside the city now account for some 60 per cent, according to HCM City’s Health Department.

Statistics from the department showed that hospitals across the city have received 41.9 million people for check-ups and treatment in 2017, accounting for 25.8 per cent of the total number of patients nation-wide.

Such specialised facilities as cardiovascular, oncology, obstetrics and paediatrics treatment attract the majority of patients.

The department attributed the high number of clients to the fact that the city’s hospitals have mastered advanced techniques and worked to improve the quality of health care service. A new regulation which allows insurance card holders to go to any clinic or hospital also explains the high number of patients, it said.

Doctors in big cities like HCM City often have to work under stressful conditions and wages are relatively low given the demands of the job, experts said.

The Ministry of Health will soon issue a circular focused on reducing the doctors’ patient load to 50 people maximum per day, compared with the hundreds of patients who seek check-ups now.

To mitigate overcrowding of hospitals, the department would give priority to investment in the development of outpatient departments to ensure that facilities and human resources can meet patients’ demand, said a representative from the city’s health department.

It planned to build more hospitals and strengthen co-ordination with private health clinics as well as enhance the quality of health care centres at grassroots level.

Apart from expanding the family doctor model, the department will continue to develop more satellite hospitals as a way to help the city effectively solve overcrowding at city’s hospitals, he said.

In related news, the patient satisfaction at hospitals in HCM City has increased considerably over the past eight months, the health department said.

Specifically, only 6,166 patients felt discontent with services in hospitals in December while the number was 15,466 in May last year.

The department implemented a system to evaluate patients’ satisfaction at 53 public hospitals in May last year.

Under the system, patients will be able to access an e-survey which covers questions on 15 kinds of services in hospitals, such as registration for health checks, registration to use health insurance, payment of hospital fees, treatment of caregivers, attitude and communication of hospital staff, quality of toilets and quality of vehicle parking service.

Based on e-survey results, hospitals would take steps to improve their shortcomings and pay more attention to patient satisfaction, enhancing health care service quality. — VNS

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