|A doctor from Thống Nhất Hospital in HCM City examines a patient in her home. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng|
HCM CITY — Many hospitals in HCM City are continuing to offer home-based medical examinations and treatment that began during the first COVID-19 outbreak.
The city Department of Health earlier this year had instructed hospitals to provide home-based medical services for people over 60 years old.
Many hospitals are continuing the service, even though there has been not community-transmitted COVID-19 case in the city in the last 54 days.
Many seniors prefer the service since they do not have to travel and can call and ask for a doctor and nurse to come to their home.
A 90-year-old woman's grandchild, for example, called District 11 Hospital to register for the home-based service since the family was still worried about the pandemic, and the woman, who has diabetes, hypertension and a vestibular disorder, could not easily travel to the hospital.
At 9am on September 3, Dr Phạm Hoàng Dũng from the hospital’s general internal medicine department and a nurse visited her house. After an examination, Dũng prescribed medicine and made a appointment with her grandchild to visit the hospital to buy the medicine.
Lê Hoàng Anh Vũ, the grandchild, said: “After I heard about the service, I immediately registered. Two days later, the doctor came to my house to examine her. Her examination and treatment was covered by health insurance.”
In another case, a 70-year-old woman from Thủ Đức District who had a bone fracture could not visit Thủ Đức District Hospital for an examination as she had done previously. She has diabetes and hypertension and needs to be examined every two weeks.
The woman’s grandchild called Thủ Đức District Hospital to register for its home-based service and a doctor and nurse came to her home.
“I didn't have to wait at the hospital for my turn,” the woman said.
Dr Hoàng Văn Dũng, deputy head of the general planning division at Thủ Đức Hospital, said the hospital was following the Ministry of Health's instruction to offer home-based services.
Fifty-two health facilities, including 22 district hospitals, in HCM City are providing the service.
Thống Nhất Hospital, however, has provided the service since 2015. The hospital has nearly 20 doctors in charge of visiting patients’ homes.
When COVID-19 first broke out, demand for the service increased by 30-40 per cent compared to previous months, according to the hospital.
Hồ Thượng Dũng, deputy head of Thống Nhất Hospital, said that patients, especially those aged 60 and over, should limit going to crowded areas like hospitals.
Besides home-based treatments, telemedicine is being used effectively at several health facilities such as the Gò Vấp District Health Centre and District 2 Hospital.
Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy director of the city Department of Health, said these services have helped to reduce overloading at hospitals and hospital-acquired infections. — VNS