More than half of state-owned hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City have publicly announced that they have sufficient facilities so that in-patients no longer share a bed for two within a maximum of 48 hours of admission.
Twenty-eight hospitals have confirmed this to the Department of Health. The city now has a total of 54 state-owned hospitals including ten general hospitals, 21 specialized hospitals, and 23 district level hospitals.
In Vietnam, state-owned hospitals are divided into district, provincial, and central levels and a patient with normal diseases is not admitted to a central infirmary without recommendation from a lower-level facility.
However, the fact that most patients with common ailments are inclined to prefer central hospitals, which are believed to have better doctors and equipment, has led to overcrowding at some hospitals.
Doctor Le Thanh Chien, director of Trung Vuong Hospital, admitted his infirmary has been overloaded with patients in three departments: cardiovascular, endocrinology, and surgery.
In the coming time, patients of overcrowded wards will be sent to other empty wards and doctors will come to their beds for diagnosis and treatment, he added.
Doctor Vo Van Tien, director of Nguyen Trai Hospital, said his facility often receives elderly patients who need longer treatment periods of 10 to 12 days.
However, his medical staff can arrange enough beds for in-patients.
The Children’s Hospital No.1 is an exception since it often has more patients than beds.
Yesterday, it had 1,544 in-patients while its total number of beds is only 1,400.
During the time of epidemics such as foot and mouth and dengue fever, it has up to 1,800 patients.
In a recent meeting with delegates from the Ministry of Health and the People’s Committee, Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the health department, confirmed that it is feasible to eliminate the sharing of beds by in-patients in the near future thanks to the construction of new facilities, to be put into operation soon.
Ho Chi Minh City will have 2,500 more beds thanks to the ongoing construction of three new infirmaries.
Next month, work will start on the expansion of the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital.
Some other infirmaries will have new ‘satellite’ departments to tackle the overcrowding issue.
According to the Ministry of Health, overload can be relieved when the nation has an average of 25-27 hospital beds per 10,000 people. The figure currently sits at over 20 beds for 10,000 residents.