HCMC public health projects see slowest capital disbursement rate in decade

By Thu Anh   July 15, 2022 | 12:11 am PT
HCMC public health projects see slowest capital disbursement rate in decade
A view of a building at the Children's Hospital 1 in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Le Phuong
HCMC's public health projects have only disbursed 12 percent of their intended investment capital within the first half of this year, the slowest rate seen over the past decade.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, on Thursday said the medical field has been experiencing several "post-Covid" issues unrelated to its expertise, including logistical problems regarding the purchase of drugs and equipments.

Progress on health investment projects have also been slow, particularly the disbursement of funds. By June 30, only 12 percent of the capital had been disbursed, which only increased to 28 percent by July 10, he said.

It is the first time in the past 10 years that public investment capital for health facilities has been disbursed so slowly, Nam remarked. He cited wars, rising fuel prices and material costs, and the fact that some contractors haven't begun construction among reasons fueling the issue.

Additionally, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, several workers have decided not to return to the city, leading to labor shortages at construction sites. For example, Cu Chi General Hospital is considered a large project, but there are only 120 staff working on it, meaning progress is slow. Several other projects don’t even have any staff.

Odonto-Stomatology Hospital has yet to disburse any capital as of July 1 because it was still seeking approval from the construction department to extend its construction window.

Children's Hospital 1 is supposed to see two new buildings constructed, but those projects have only been disbursed at around 1 percent due to contract issues.

Gia Dinh People's Hospital was planned around 10 years ago, meaning there's a large price difference from then to now. Ten years ago, it would take around VND2 billion ($85,342) per hospital bed to complete the hospital, but now, the price tag is around VND4.5 billion per bed. The disbursement rate of the hospital by July 1 was only at 36.8 percent.

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