Thảo Điền Ward Health Centre in HCM City’s Thủ Đức city. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng
HCM CITY — Vietnam Social Security has agreed not to black list for insurance coverage 34 health centres across HCM City.
It had announced that from April 1 it would not cover patients going to these places since they failed to meet several criteria including number of doctors who have certificates to practise medicine.
They are in districts 4,7,9, 10, Gò Vấp, Tân Phú, Bình Thạnh, Phú Nhuận, Hóc Môn, Nhà Bè, and Bình Chánh, and Thủ Đức city.
The health stations said in defence of their position that they could not attract doctors with practising certificates because of the low salaries on offer.
On March 8 the deputy head of the city Department of Health, Tăng Chí Thượng, met VSS officials and persuaded them not to call of their contracts with the 34 health stations, saying before doing so they should meet department officials to discuss solutions.
His department and the Ministry of Health aim to develop universal primary health care and reduce the overload on city- and central-level hospitals, he said.
“Besides direct participation in disease prevention and control, health stations in communes and wards also examine and treat ailments, especially chronic conditions, for local people. This is one of their critical jobs.
“So the department has a roadmap for facilities and personnel at health stations. More medicines are being provided to them for effective treatment. It helps them operate as family medical centres.”
To address the failure to meet the VSS’s criteria, Thượng instructed district-level hospitals to provide doctors and medicines to the erring health stations, even collaborating to develop them into their clinics.
The hospitals’ doctors could take turns to work at the clinics, helping address the shortage of doctors there, he said.
Soon the department plans to provide training to managers of health centres in districts and health stations to keep them abreast of regulations related especially to examination and treatment covered by health insurance, he said.
Health stations’ managers should report their problems to the department so that the latter relevant divisions will help resolve, he said, adding that they should not ask for VSS to stop contract first.
His department would petition the ministry to simplify procedures for primary health examination and treatment at health stations, he promised. — VNS