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Registration hotlines reduce waiting time at hospitals

Update: October, 31/2018 - 09:00
Elderly patients wait for examinations in a hospital hall. Long queues are common at public hospitals. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Leaving home in northern mountainous Lào Cai Province at 6:30 in the morning to go to Hà Nội for a health check-up, Mai Hương and her daughter were able to return the same afternoon, much sooner than she had imagined.

Hương had decided to have her daughter’s knee injury checked out at Việt Đức hospital in the capital city.

Hương thought they would need to stay in Hà Nội for at least two days due to long wait times for check-ups at hospitals in big cities.

“It takes me just three hours to go from Lào Cai to Hà Nội,” she told Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health and Life) Newspaper. “But what worried me most was the waiting time for registration to see doctors.”

“I planned to go to Hà Nội one day earlier, rent a house near the hospital and wake up early the next morning to stand in the queue at the hospital register for a check-up,” she said. “However, one of my friends told me to register via the hospital’s hotline to reduce the wait time; I decided to try and I succeeded. I did not have to go to Hà Nội a day early.”

Arriving at the hospital around 9:30am for the appointment, Hương and her daughter were welcomed by the staff, who then took them directly to see a doctor without having to take a ticket and wait in a long queue.  

Following the consultation, they took a bus back to Lào Cai Province in the afternoon of the same day.

Việt Đức is one of the hundreds of hospitals nationwide that have applied health examination registration via hotlines or websites to reduce waiting time for patients.

The move was made following the Ministry of Health’s new requirements for improving treatment at hospitals.

Long queues of people lining up for health checks are a common scene at public hospitals, and many have to wait for a day until they can see a doctor.

Phạm Thị Thu, a 60-year-old resident of Cầu Giấy District, said she had to leave home early for her regular health checks at a hospital in Hai Bà Trưng District to avoid waiting a long time.

“I often leave home around 7am to go to the hospital for registration,” she said. “Normally, I have to wait two to three hours to see a doctor. It is very tiring, particularly for old people, to wait such a long time.”

To deal with the problem, the health ministry issued a 2013 decision to guide treatment procedures nationwide. After five years of implementation, many hospitals and health clinics have taken measures to improve examination and treatment quality, particularly in streamlining procedures and reducing waiting time, said the ministry’s Director of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department Lương Ngọc Khuê.

The results of a pilot survey, revealed in March, showed the average patient satisfaction index reached 3.98 out of five, some 79.6 per cent of their expectation. The survey evaluated in-patient satisfaction levels towards check-ups and examination services. —VNS

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