|Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến talks with patients at Chợ Rẫy Hospital. Photo Duy Tính|
HCM CITY— Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến has asked large hospitals in HCM City to take drastic measures to reduce patient overload by focusing on satellite clinics at district-level hospitals and applying information technology.
Major city-level hospitals should transfer patients with non-serious ailments to district- and provincial-level hospitals, Tiến said during her visit yesterday to Chợ Rẫy Hospital and HCM City University Medical Centre.
Tiến spoke with a patient, Nguyễn Thị Phượng, 42, from Nha Trang in the central province of Khánh Hoà, who was waiting in the HCM City University Medical Centre’s digestive department.
Phượng told the minister that she arrived at 6am and then had to wait for four hours to see her doctor again.
On her first visit a day earlier, Phượng spent an entire day at the hospital for gastroscopy, and was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
After examining her tests and drug prescriptions, the minister said that her disease could be treated at Khánh Hoà General Hospital in her native province.
But Phượng said that her sister had advised her to visit doctors at the HCM City University Medical Centre.
Her neighbours in Nha Trang also visited large hospitals in HCM City for medical treatment, she said.
Every day, an average of 7,000 outpatients visit the HCM City University Medical Centre for health check-ups and treatment, resulting in long waiting lines of patients at most departments.
Many patients at Chợ Rẫy Hospital, which provides check-ups and treatment to 6,000 outpatients a day, said they did not trust hospitals in their provinces.
Nguyễn Hoàng Bắc, director of the HCM City University Medical Centre, said the hospital had adopted electronic patient records and IT to improve the quality of patient care and efficiency of patient record management and hospital administration.
However, patient overloading still continued, she said, adding that the hospital planned to build a new facility to meet demand.
The hospital has asked the Health Minister to either set aside state funds for investment in IT or allow hospitals to add some of their IT costs to check-up and treatment fees.
Besides building new facilities, Tiến proposed that the two hospitals expand their satellites at district- hospitals and provincial-level hospitals to reduce patient overload as many patients from other cities and provinces visited these two hospitals for treatment of common diseases.
During her visit, Tiến also spoke with the two hospitals about the quality of health check-ups and treatments, health insurance payments, and salaries and bonuses for health workers. —VNS