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Ho Chi Minh City issues guidelines on medical treatment for foreigners

Friday, May 29, 2020, 18:27 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City issues guidelines on medical treatment for foreigners
A foreigner fills out a health declaration form in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in this undated photo. Photo: Thu Hien / Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has required local hospitals to check foreign patients’ history of entry into Vietnam and their certificate of completion of mandatory quarantine before giving them medical service.

According to the municipal heath department, as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to have complicated developments, the medical sector is anticipated to face problems in providing medical care for foreigners and Vietnamese citizens returning from overseas.

The department has thus issued an urgent document to guide hospitals through a set of criteria to ensure their services for the aforementioned patients meet the requirements of COVID-19 prevention and control.

Accordingly, hospitals can only provide medical treatment to a foreigner or overseas Vietnamese returnee who has been in Vietnam for more than 14 days, counted from the date they visit the institutions, if they carry certificates proving that they have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Meanwhile, medical institutions are asked to keep foreigners or overseas Vietnamese returnees who have stayed Vietnam for less than 14 days but yet to be placed under the required quarantine, together with their companions, in a temporary quarantine facility onsite and report the case to the municipal Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Critical cases that need immediate medical care shall be handled by the International Health Quarantine Center of Ho Chi Minh City, the city’s CDC, and the 115 Emergency Center. 

They will be transported to one of the designated hospitals to be treated for their current disease.

The designated hospitals include 115 People’s Hospital, Gia Dinh People’s Hospital, Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital, Hung Vuong Hospital, Children’s Hospital 1, Children’s Hospital 2, Tu Du Maternity Hospital, FV Hospital, and Vinmec Central Park International Hospital.

They will also be isolated for 14 days and tested for COVID-19 there.

During this 14-day period, cases where the patients test positive for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 or exhibit symptoms of influenza or a suspected respiratory viral infection must be immediately reported to the CDC.

Meanwhile, centrally quarantined patients who suffer from acute symptoms or require regular check-ups for existing chronic conditions shall receive medical consultations from doctors at the designated hospitals.

On the other hand, hospitals must also contact the local police and municipal health department for assistance in cases where a patient is a foreigner or overseas Vietnamese returnee without a valid passport or visa.

Vietnam has reported 327 COVID-19 cases, with 279 recoveries and no death as of Friday.

The country has gone 43 days without community transmission of the disease while having recorded 59 imported cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

Ho Chi Minh City has logged 59 COVID-19 patients, only five of whom remain in treatment. 

Twenty-four patients in the city are foreigners, and nine are Vietnamese citizens returning from abroad, according to a health ministry tally counted by Tuoi Tre News.

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