The health insurance policy has been amended to allow patients in provinces to get treatment in cities and 100 per cent insurance coverage unlike earlier when they got only 60 per cent and had to be referred by their local hospitals. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng
HCM CITY — HCM City’s public hospitals face a threat of being overrun due to a change in the health insurance policy that increases the claim settlement level from 60 per cent to 100 per cent when transferred to higher-level hospitals.
Patients coming from outside the city for treatment used to be eligible for only 60 per cent compensation since its hospitals rank higher in the hierarchy of public hospitals compared to their provincial counterparts.
Besides, for that they needed to get their local hospitals to refer them for treatment at a ‘higher level’ hospital in a city.
But with effect from January 1 the Law on Health Insurance has been amended to allow people to get full insurance coverage and even without certification from their provincial hospital.
Most hospitals in HCM City expect the number of patients to increase as a result.
Dr Trần Ngọc Hải, deputy director of Từ Dũ Hospital, said preparations had been made in terms of facilities, equipment and human resources to meet the higher demand.
The hospital expects 50 per cent increase in the number of patients from last year.
It has 2,000 beds.
Dr Diệp Bảo Tuấn, deputy director of the Oncology Hospital, said 75 per cent of its inpatients were from provinces.
The hospital is prepared for a possible rush following the opening of the Oncology Hospital No.2 in District 9.
Đặng Thị Cúc, 76, a patient from Lâm Đồng Province who is being treated at the Oncology Hospital, said the new policy would greatly help poor patients like her.
However, many city hospitals have asked the Department of Health to take steps to prevent overloading.
The Ministry of Health is trying to improve provincial hospitals through programmes such as 1816, under which experts are rotated between central- and local-level hospitals to improve the quality of healthcare in rural areas. — VNS