The prices of about 1,900 different services offered at public hospitals have increased, according to the Ministry of Health.
|Patients register for health check-ups at Hà Nội Heart Hopsital|
The current healthcare prices were calculated on the basis of the basic salary of 1.390 million VND (60 USD). Once the basic salary has been revised up to 1.490 million VND (64 USD), effective from July 1, the medical pricing needs to be adjusted.
Accordingly, the price of health check-ups and bed charges rose by 4.4 percent while technical service fees increased by 1.1 percent from August 20.
The cost of a health check at first-grade hospitals – those under the direct management of the health ministry or the centrally-run cities or provinces people’s committees – for example, is 38,700 VND instead of 37,000 VND. Bed charge per day at the special class hospitals goes up from the current 753,000 VND to 782,000 VND.
Patients who are receiving treatment at the medical facilities before August 20 and discharged or end the treatment after August 20 continue to enjoy the previous price until they are discharged or finish the treatment.
Nguyen Nam Lien, Director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Planning and Finance, said the electricity price had increased since March but the ministry only calculated basic salary in the prices of medical services to ensure decent income for health workers.
Lien said the adjustment didn’t include the management cost in accordance with the roadmap for public services stipulated by Government Decree No. 16. However, it helped increase the revenue for health facilities.
He said that the changes in health service prices would not affect people who were being offered free insurance because all medical costs would be covered by health insurance payment.
Insured patients who are supposed to pay 20 percent of medical treatment cost might be affected by the price adjustment. However, he said, the addition would not be significant, adding that bed charges and technical services for insured patients would be up by 0.88 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, Lien said.
Health insurance suggested to cover assistive tools for the disabled
People come to have their health insurance procedures handled at the Vietnam Social Security’s branch of Tu Ky district, Hai Duong province.
Health insurance policies for people with disabilities were discussed at a workshop in Hanoi late last week to attract attention to the necessity for health insurance to also cover payments for assistive tools and devices for the disabled.
The event, co-held by the Health Strategy and Policy Institute, the Medical Services Administration and the International Centre, shared international experience in terms of costs and benefits of providing assistive tools and devices to people with disabilities.
Healthcare and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities have been improved across the country, said Assoc. Prof., Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Medical Services Administration.
Over 3 million out of the 6.2 million people with disabilities throughout the country have enjoyed free health insurance, he added.
Meanwhile, the remainder had to purchase health insurance and co-pay fees for medical services at their own cost, the official said, noting that assistive tools and devices aiding mobility, which are vital to the disabled, are not covered by the health insurance.
Many people with disabilities are living in poor conditions and have limited access to healthcare services. Families with a person with disabilities accounted for 55 per cent of the lowest-income population. Calculations on the basis of the 2016 multi-dimensional poverty approach show that households with disabled members are over two times more likely to be living in poverty than those with none.
According to the national survey on people with disabilities in 2016, about 92 per cent of the people with disabilities were sick, injured or used medical services within a year before the time of the survey, nearly 20 per cent higher than those without.
Some 15 per cent of disabled people struggle to walk without assistive devices. With an assistive device, the figure will drop to only 1.94 per cent. Therefore, if these tools are covered by health insurance, it would make a big change in their life and help them more active in social activities.
Dong Nai Province steps into era of electronic medical records
A patient gets treatment at the Long Khánh Regional General Hospital in Dong Nai Province.
The Dong Nai Province Department of Health on Monday (August 26) began piloting the maintenance of electronic medical records at the Long Khanh Regional General Hospital.
It plans to expand it to all health facilities in the south-eastern province in future following the trial.
It said maintaining electronic medical records would help save time and cost for both medical authorities and patients.
Patients would not have to preserve and bring all their medical records when visiting health facilities, and even if they lose test results, they could be retrieved at any time.
Phan Van Huyen, director of the Long Khánh Regional General Hospital, said the hospital had installed Hospital Information System, Laboratory Information System and Picture Archiving and Communication System software for the purpose.
Phan Huy Anh Vu, director of the department, said the Long Khánh Regional General Hospital had been chosen for the pilot because it had good infrastructure.
After the trial period the department would assess the IT infrastructure at the Long Khanh Regional General Hospital to calculate the cost of introducing the new system at other health facilities, and then seek the approval of the province People’s Committee for expanding the system to other health facilities around the province.
The Ministry of Health has introduced the system in Hanoi, HCM City and the provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, HaTinh, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong, and Long An, where 90 per cent of all health stations in communes, wards and towns now maintain electronic records.
It requires all health facilities ranked in the first category –the second highest of four behind ‘special’- to upgrade their IT infrastructure.
By 2028 health facilities throughout the country will go electronic. VNS/VNA
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