Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – A week after a traffic accident, 52-year-old woman Trần Thị Linh arrived at Việt Nam-Germany Hospital on April 28 to get patella surgery.
The Hà Nam Province’s Lý Nhân District patient was transferred to hospital with the hope of early treatment. As the operation did not take place as she hoped within a week, she grew impatient.
“I was so tired of waiting. I had to endure pain for many days. I asked doctors why I had to wait such a long time, but they said they had to give priority to patients with more serious ailments,” she said.
“Sometimes the pain is unbearable. I can’t do anything but asking my daughter to apply ice to relieve the pain,” Linh told Lao Động (Labour) newspaper while lying at bed arranged along the corridor at the hospital.
Looking around, everyone can see that crowds of patients have flooded the faculty. Some patients have to share beds.
Linh said that many patients told her that they haven’t had their operations in spite of being hospitalised for ten days or even two weeks.
“I wish that the operation took place immediately. The more I have to wait for the surgery, the more I worry about the treatment cost,” she said, adding that it cost her around VNĐ400,000 (US$18) per day to stay in the hospital.
Her family of four people relies on rice farming. Since her husband suffered colorectal cancer eight years ago, she was left the burden of the family.
To make ends meet, she has to do a lot of jobs, ranging from raising chicken and pigs to purchasing vegetables at wholesale markets and selling them at street markets. Although she worked so hard, she could only earn a meagre VNĐ100,000 (US$5) a day, which was spent on her husband’s medicine and living expense for the whole family.
At last, her wish was realised, as she got the patella surgery after 11 days, the newspaper reported.
Linh was not the only patient to suffer a long wait time. Patients often wait for longer than a week to have their operations in other central hospitals as well.
The National Cancer Hospital’s branch in Tân Triều Commune is another example.
Nguyễn Thị Hoa, a 40-year-old resident of Vĩnh Phúc Province, travelled more than 40km from the northern province to seek treatment for a lump behind her ears at the hospital.
After detecting the lump’s effect on her nerves, doctors at a local hospital had transferred her to the hospital. However, she didn’t have the surgery for four days.
“Many patients in my room were in the same situation. Some even waited for 8 days. It costs a lot of money to stay in here, but we don’t know what else to do,” Hoa said.
According to leaders of Việt Nam-Germany Hospital, most traffic accidents transferred to the hospital are serious cases in need of emergency surgeries. Patients have to wait in line for the surgery because of limited operation rooms.
In the meantime, a lot of patients with minor ailments are admitted to the hospital, particularly during and after long holidays. Priority will always be given to those suffering from serious ailments.
Hospital statistics show that every day, about 1,000 patients arrive at the hospital for examination and treatment. The hospital conducts surgery for about 150 patients a day.
Despite the fact that the National Cancer Hospital has opened two more branches, the hospital is always overloaded with patients from provinces and cities all over the country.
It is estimated that its branch in Tân Triều Commune examine nearly 300 patients a day, in addition to treating hundreds of others in cyclic treatment.
Because the hospital facilities are not enough to cope with the demand, many patients have struggled to find a place to rest while waiting for the surgery.
According to Health Minister Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến, measures have been taken to curb overloading at central hospitals.
Accordingly, besides calling on people to purchase health insurance cards, more beds have been added for patients and more hospitals have been built.
Tiến cited the establishment of the branches of National Cancer Hospital, the national hospital of Endocrinology and Hospital for Tropical Disease as examples.
The Health Ministry has built satellite hospitals in others provinces and piloted the “family doctor” model, which offers treatment for those who don’t suffer serious diseases and prevents people from flooding major hospitals. — VNS