Government untangles the medical supplies crisis

By Viet Tuan   March 5, 2023 | 04:00 am PT
Government untangles the medical supplies crisis
A doctor checks a scanning equipment at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, November 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Vietnam government has eased some regulations on hospitals' equipment purchase to help resolve the shortage of supplies which is plaguing the health industry.

A resolution issued Saturday allows hospitals to use the price quote from one seller of exclusive equipment to set up a bidding price for such equipment.

Previously hospitals need to have at least three quotes from three different sellers when they want to buy an equipment, which in some cases is impossible as many medical equipment are only manufactured by one company.

The new resolution also allows hospitals to use the health insurance fund of Vietnam Social Security to pay for equipment, supplies, chemicals, machines and services provided by companies and outside contractors, something they have been banned from doing since November 2022.

The shortage of medicines and supplies in Vietnam has been causing trouble to hospitals and patients since early last year.

Viet Duc, the largest surgical center in northern Vietnam, had to suspend scheduled surgeries from March 1 to save limited medicine and equipment for emergency cases. Many patients whose surgeries are delayed have had to get by with painkillers.

Cho Ray, the largest public facility in southern Vietnam, and Bach Mai, Hanoi's largest public hospital, have not been able to buy equipment and chemicals for examinations, and had to send their patients to private facilities for procedures such as CT scan, MRI scan or and color Doppler ultrasound scans.

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