HCMC wants private facilities to treat Covid patients on demand

By Huu Cong   August 25, 2021 | 12:32 am PT
HCMC wants private facilities to treat Covid patients on demand
A Covid-19 field hospital in HCMC's Tan Binh District, August 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
HCMC has asked related ministries to allow private medical facilities to treat Covid-19 patients on request and collect corresponding fees.

In an urgent statement sent to the ministries of Health and Finance on Monday, the city's administration asked both to provide specific guidance on the fee for treating Covid-19 patients demanding admittance to private facilities.

According to the city's government, private facilities have reported that there are now many Covid-19 patients who could afford and are willing to pay to be treated in facilities meeting their demands.

This could contribute to easing the burden on the state budget, they said.

So far, Covid-19 patients have all been treated at centralized facilities for free, and with the outbreak looming large in Ho Chi Minh City, many have treated themselves at home.

According to the city People's Committee, private medical facilities said the procurement of drugs and medical supplies as well as costs of treating Covid-19 patients between the public and private healthcare systems are very different.

Specifically, private facilities purchase drugs and equipment without bidding, and therefore the prices are higher than what public medical facilities have to pay, while the salaries of medical staff at private health facilities is many times higher than those of the public sector.

For now, the state budget covers part or all of the patient's treatment costs but in fact, the cost for treating patients at private facilities would be higher and guidance from the two ministries are necessary.

HCMC has been the epicenter of Vietnam’s fourth Covid-19 wave for two months now.

So far in the wave that hit Vietnam four months ago, the city has recorded 184,872 local cases and 7,302 deaths.

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