A child is examined at City International Hospital in Bình Tân District. Photo courtesy of the hospital
HCM CITY— Nguyễn Thị Hoàng Yến (not her real name) of Hóc Môn District often goes to Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital in HCM City’s District 1 on Saturday for periodic gynaecological examinations.
“I am free only on Saturday because of work. Từ Dũ Hospital is always crowded with patients in regular office hours,” Yến said.
The quality of examination outside regular office hours is the same as in regular office hours, she said, adding that she does not have to wait for a long time.
Yến’s friends also like to have health examination and treatment outside office hours at the MEDIC Medical Centre, Tân Phú District Hospital and others when they are ill.
After working hours (often ending at 4:30 p.m or 5pm), they visit these health facilities for examination.
There, they can receive basic tests such as blood tests, ultrasound, X-rays and others if they are prescribed by doctors.
The price of healthcare services outside of regular office hours at the centre are the same as those in regular office hours.
Unlike in the past, health examination and treatment outside of regular office hours are implemented not only at many public hospitals but also the private ones in order to help patients access healthcare more easily.
This month, the City International Hospital in Bình Tân District opened a paediatrics clinic providing examination and treatment at 4:30 p.m to 8pm from Monday to Saturday and 8:30 a.m to 11:30 am on Sunday.
Dr Nguyễn Bạch Huệ, head of the hospital’s paediatrics department, said: “The hospital wants to create favourable conditions and flexible time for parents in examination and treatment for their children.” This service has a price of VNĐ200,000 (US$8.6).
According to the hospital, the price is cheaper than the one in regular office hours.
Among many public hospitals with healthcare services outside of regular office hours, several district level hospitals such as Tân Bình and Tân Phú District Hospitals have insured patients. They only charge an additional fee worth several dozens of thousands of đồng for examination.
Most healthcare services outside of regular office hours at public and private hospitals often are carried out from 4:30 pm to 7pm.
For public hospitals, these services aim to reduce overcrowding of patients and raise revenue, besides offering flexible time and favourable conditions for patients
According to Việt Nam Health Economics Association, they also are the main sources of many public hospitals' revenue as they are implementing financial autonomy regime.
The city's Department of Health said that people's access to primary health care services had become better thanks to the hospitals' services outside of official working hours. VNS