HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases. — VNS Photo Gia Lộc
HCM CITY — The Ministry of Health should allow private hospitals to charge fees for COVID-19 tests, the HCM City Department of Health suggested at a press meeting on Wednesday on COVID-19 prevention and control.
Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy head of the department, said the ministry should set up a fee framework for COVID-19 tests at private hospitals to avoid high or varying fees.
Private hospitals have invested in testing systems, so they should be allowed to collect fees, he said.
In the previous outbreak several months ago, the hospitals offered free COVID-19 tests.
Nguyễn Trí Dũng, head of the HCM City Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said the city has 13 health facilities with the capacity of providing COVID-19 tests. They can offer 2,000 tests each day or up to 3,000 if necessary.
Thượng said the Củ Chi Field Hospital and Cần Giờ COVID-19 Treatment Hospital have reopened.
The department has instructed all hospitals and health facilities to strengthen measures to control transmission and screening, and test patients and health staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 and isolate them.
They were also asked to remind patients to wash hands, wear masks, have their body temperature taken, and fill out health declaration forms.
Patients who have symptoms such as fever and cough should be examined at hospitals and health facilities’ separate areas.
If they have symptoms related to COVID-19, hospitals and health facility staff should call the 115 Emergency Aid Centre to transport them to the nearest hospital or health facility with isolated zones for examination and treatment.
Private and public hospitals should assess safety levels based on the established criteria required for safe hospitals for treating diseases related to acute respiratory and COVID-19 infections.
Health stations in wards and communes and public and private health clinics should also apply the Department of Health’s criteria on assessing risks of COVID-19 transmission at health facilities.
Drugstores in the city should record the full name, address and phone number of customers who have symptoms of cough and fever. Drugstore staff should urge customers to use health declaration applications and report to health centres in their locality for surveillance.
Thượng said the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control is focusing on early prevention, timely detection and comprehensive quarantine methods. City residents are encouraged to co-operate with local authorities and health officials to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the city will choose eight three- to five-star hotels in districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and Tân Bình to use as quarantine areas. People staying there will have to pay a fee.
The hotels will do unannounced checks to ensure compliance with regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control. — VNS