Fourteen state hospitals in Vietnam’s Dak Lak Province now owe around VND15 billion (US$667,000) in salaries for their staff, according to the provincial health department.
It is the result of the gap between the planned and real amounts of income at the infirmaries in the Central Highlands region.
Tran Vu Son, vice chief of the finance division under the Dak Lak health department, said that the 14 hospitals were assigned to generate nearly VND312 billion ($13.9 million) in revenue this year, but they could only earn as much as VND282 billion ($12.5 million).
So the fund for salary payment has been reduced from VND35 billion ($1.6 million) to only VND20 billion ($890,000), Son added.
Sitting atop the default list is Buon Ho Town Hospital, with over VND3.2 billion ($142,200) in debt, followed by Buon Ma Thuot Hospital, VND3.1 billion ($138,000).
Twelve other hospitals owe from VND131 million ($5,800) to VND1.6 billion ($71,100) each.
“The health department has asked for help from the Dak Lak People’s Committee and the infirmaries are expected to be granted funds enough to pay their staff within this month,” Son said.
Debts of state bodies in Vietnam have emerged as a topical issue after many agencies in Bac Lieu Province and Ca Mau Province, located in the Mekong Delta, were found running out of money to fund even routine operations.
Audit results showed that communes – the lowest unit in the administrative management system of Vietnam – often owe VND1-10 billion ($44,400-444,000) each, said Bui Duc Thu, standing member of the Finance and Budget Committee under the law-making National Assembly.
With around 11,000 communes all over the nation, the debts are huge, he added, assuring that strict measures will be taken to prevent localities falling into debt in the coming time.