Many hospitals in HCM City see decrease in patients amid COVID-19 fears

March 25, 2020 - 08:33
Many hospitals in HCM City, especially Chợ Rẫy and Oncology, are not experiencing the usual overcrowding as many people are afraid to go to hospitals because of the COVID-19 crisis.


A healthcare worker at HCM City Hospital of Dermatology and Venerology provides hand sanitizer to a woman at the hospital. — VNA/VNS.Photo Đinh Hằng

HCM CITY — Many hospitals in HCM City, especially Chợ Rẫy and Oncology, are not experiencing the usual overcrowding as many people are afraid to go to hospitals for fear of contracting COVID-19.

However, doctors still advise that people with underlying health issues, especially chronic conditions, should visit hospitals for their periodic health examination.

On February 27, Gia An 115 Hospital in the city’s Bình Tân District admitted a patient with a heart attack in an emergency status.

The patient’s relative said that she had chronic disease relating to the heart. The medicine which she was using had run out. She needed to visit the hospital for periodic examination and get more medicine.

However, she was afraid of COVID-19 and did not visit the hospital again. She bought the medicine at a local drugstore.

The Gia An 115 Hospital’s doctors removed a blood clot and inserted a stent to improve blood flow.

Dr Nguyễn Thanh Hiệp, vice rector of Phạm Ngọc Thạch University of Medicine, said that patients scheduled to visit for periodic exams should not miss their appointments because it was important to assess their health status.

Lê Minh Hiển, Chợ Rẫy Hospital’s head of the social work division, said that previously the hospital did not have enough wheelchairs for patients due to overcrowding. 

However, many wheelchairs now are not being used because the number of patients has fallen, Hiển said, adding that more than 4,000 patients visit the hospital each day while the figure was 5,000-6,000 each day in the past.

HCM City Oncology Hospital, which treats cancer patients in the city and southern region, has seen a decrease of by 10 per cent compared to normal.

HCM City Hospital of Dermatology and Venerology’s has seen a drop to nearly 1,800 from 2,200 in the past.

Dr Phạm Thanh Việt of Chợ  Rẫy Hospital said that it would be dangerous for patients to skip appointments at the hospital because they could miss a chance of early detection and treatment.          

Hospital managers said that patients should not worry because they have strengthened preventive measures against COVID-19 at their facilities.

At the doors of hospitals, health staff check patients’  temperatures and fill out health declaration papers.  Patients and staff must wear masks. Hand sanitizers have been placed in many areas in hospitals. — VNS