Sunday, September 19 2021


City seeks volunteer medical staff to relieve overwhelmed healthcare system

Update: July, 26/2021 - 16:47


Doctors at Chợ Rẫy Hospital in HCM City treat a COVID-19 patient. Photo courtesy of the hospital

HCM CITY — More than 1,300 people in HCM Ctiy have signed up to volunteer for the fight against the outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant following an appeal letter from Deputy Minister of Heatlh Nguyễn Trường Sơn.

Volunteers include nearly 300 doctors, 200 pharmacists and nearly 700 people working in various sectors joining the front lines.

The city’s Department of Health is mobilising volunteers for COVID-19 treatment health facilities and districts facing a shortage of human resources for prevention and control activities.

Sơn, head of the ministry’s special standing division in HCM City, issued an appeal letter on Saturday calling for people with a medical background, including active and retired medical officers, lecturers and students, as well as members of health associations, to help relieve some of the burden on the healthcare system, which is now under severe strain.

People can sign up to volunteer by contacting the Department of Health via 02839309967 or 0907574269.

Last week, city leaders asked the central Government to mobilise more than 12,000 medical officers, including doctors, nurses, and medical technicians to support the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Overburdened system

The COVID-19 outbreak has overwhelmed the city’s public healthcare system, which is estimated to be capable of treating about 30,000 COVID-19 cases, according to Deputy Minister of Heatlh Nguyễn Trường Sơn.

The city is in dire need of support from the central Government and the Ministry of Health to add more resources to curb the outbreak.

As of Sunday, the city had reported more than 61,000 cases since late April. 

The newly established HCM City Rehabilitation Hospital with 1,000 beds for severely and critically ill patients needs more than 1,300 medical staff, said Dr. Nguyễn Tri Thức, director of HCM City COVID-19 Rehabilitation Hospital.

It has 835 medical officers and administrative staff so far, according to Thức, who is director of Chợ Rẫy Hospital.

With a surge in the number of cases, the hospital asked the Ministry of Health to mobilise more human resources for treatment of severe cases.

Dr. Nguyễn Duy Long, director of the 115 Emergency Centre in HCM City, said the centre was struggling as 1,200-1,800 positive COVID-19 cases were being transferred to hospitals every day, far exceeding its capacity.

He has asked the health sector to mobilise more emergency medical staff from other health facilities to provide emergency services for COVID-19 patients in a timely manner.

The Field Hospital No. 2 in the city’s District 12 with nearly 200 medical staff is now operating at full capacity to receive COVID-19 patients.

The hospital has proposed adding more physicians who are respiratory specialists as doctors there are working double their normal shift. — VNS



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