Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Đinh Thị Bích, a 60-year-old diabetic patient from the northern province of Ninh Bình, has regular check-ups at the National Hospital of Endocrinology in Hà Nội. Every time she goes for a check-up, she has to leave early to avoid long waiting times.
Long queues of people lining up for health checks are a common scene at public hospitals, and many have to wait for a day until they can see a doctor.
A circular on healthcare service costs which took effect on July 15 this year limits the number of patients examined by each doctor per day to 65, and people who have bought health insurance are seen free of charge. However, the 66th patient and those after have to pay 50 per cent of the cost.
47-year-old Trần Thị Thủy, a cancer patient from Hải Phòng City, is still waiting for her check-up turn at Hospital K based in Hà Nội.
“The new circular puts patients in a difficult situation of going home or having to pay. The cost of cancer check-ups and tests are high,” she said.
According to Nguyễn Nam Liên, head of the Planning and Finance Department under the Ministry of Health, most patients have check-ups at the beginning of the week rather than weekends, so on some days the centres are very crowded, and some days they’re quiet.
Lê Văn Phúc, deputy director of Việt Nam Social Insurance’s Department for Health Insurance Policy said that the limit aimed to improve service quality.
“Doctors will spend more time with each patient. The new regulation will reduce pressure on doctors who had to examine too many patients each day,” he said.
He said that patients with chronic diseases were advised to go for health checks in the afternoon and avoid peak times at the beginning of the week.
Nguyễn Nam Liên from the Planning and Finance Department believed that patients would no longer have to go home without being seen by a doctor due to overcrowding.
Nguyễn Bá Tĩnh, director of Hospital K, said that the hospital had organised more doctors to see patients. — VNS