HCMC mulls private sector care for self-isolated Covid patients

By Thu Anh   November 30, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
HCMC mulls private sector care for self-isolated Covid patients
A medic checks a Covid-19 patient treated at home in HCMC's Thu Duc City, September 3, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
HCMC Health Department is planning to allow private facilities to treat Covid-19 patients isolated at home.

According to the plan, which will soon be submitted to the city administration, all private clinics in the southern metropolis could take part in the work, Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, the department's office chief, said Monday.

Ho Chi Minh City has been for months allowed Covid patients to be treated at home, while only hospitalizing severe cases. To take care of the former, the city has been relying on medical task forces at state-owned medical centers across wards and communes.

However, in recent times, overload has been reported among those forces. HCMC currently has 82,000 Covid-19 patients, 66,862 of whom are being isolated at home.

"We hope the plan will be approved so we could have more human resources to ensure the best possible care for Covid-19 patients isolated at home," she said.

It is not clear how private sector staff would be paid for their new duty. Until now, Vietnam has treated Covid-19 patients for free.

In HCMC, the private sector had already participated in treating Covid-19 patients during July, when the city suffered its worst community outbreak ever.

Back then, a series of private hospitals, including FV, Nam Saigon, Xuyen A Hospital, Hoan My Thu Duc International General Hospital, Trieu An Hospital, Tam Duc Heart Hospital and Gia An 115 Hospital had either split their facilities in half or designated a certain area for Covid-19 patients.

HCMC had already petitioned the central government to allow private hospitals to charge Covid-19 patients for their care since these facilities often have to incur higher expenses in equipment, medicines and staff salaries compared to state-owned equivalents. Many patients and their families are willing to pay for treatment, the city confirmed.

However, it has yet to be granted the green light.

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