Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health Tang Chi Thuong said that the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City and the Ministry of Health have proposed to the National Assembly to soon adjust hospital charges so that hospitals can collect precise fees. If charges of public hospital services cannot be adjusted soon, hospitals petitioned to change their autonomy levels. The Government has just issued Decree 60 on the autonomy of public non-business units to replace the Decree 43 and the Ministry of Finance has also issued guidance on the implementation of this decree.
According to the Director, most hospitals are self-financing but after nearly two years of Covid-19 prevention and control, the revenue from medical examination and treatment activities has decreased significantly. In the immediate future, to attract more patients, hospitals need to urgently strengthen and improve their professional capacity as well as improve communication and medical workers’ attitude toward patients.
Now, he said that the health sector will continue evaluating the autonomy of hospitals to promptly recommend the city to have a solution. Other activities of the hospital including on-demand examination, regimes and policies, adjusted salaries and allowances should also be strengthened accordingly.
Mr. Thuong disclosed that the health sector in Ho Chi Minh City currently has existing problems including medical workers’ transition from public to private health facilities, and a shortage of leaders and nurses in many hospitals. Besides, there is the dilemma of autonomy and procurement.
In fact, health workers’ transition from public to private health facilities, and vice versa, in Ho Chi Minh City has been going on for a long time, but it is more severe after the Covid-19 epidemic. From 2021 to September 2022, about 2,000 health workers in public hospitals in the city quit their jobs in public medical facilities to work for private establishments. At the same time, hospitals also recruited about 1,700-1,800 new health workers.
However, the majority of people who change jobs or quit are experienced and professional medical workers while newly recruited employees are those who have just graduated from medicine schools and need a long time to work to replace those in the old position.
There are many reasons why health workers quit their jobs, even a few people say that they are tired and stressed after two years of epidemic prevention and control, while their income is low and cannot make the end meet.
Associate Professor Nguyen Thanh Hiep, Principal of Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University, said that while the city health sector lacks medical workers, especially nurses, the sector needs a vision and action strategy to maintain health human resources and meet people's health care needs.
According to him, it is necessary to have a general survey, to assess the multidisciplinary training needs and to estimate the loss of medical workers comprising a number of retired people, a number of people leaving the job, a number of people no longer working in the health sector and a number of people transferred to the health sector.