Thursday, July 14, 2016
Vietnam - Ministry orders supervision of privatised services in hospitals
HÀ NỘI — Health minister Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến has asked central and local medical facilities nationwide to review hospital services offered by private organisations and individuals.
Accordingly, hospitals must punish and terminate contracts with organisations and individuals offering hospital services that cause annoyance to patients as well as affect the quality of medical examination and treatment.
The order comes in the wake of some cases reported recently in which medical facilities chose service providers and gave them certain privileges.
The services, such as those providing security guards, patient transport, canteen services and solid medical waste treatment, besides dead body preservation and funeral organisation, reportedly affected the prestige of doctors and hospitals.
The Health Minister ordered the issue of open public bids for these services as per regulations, and asked health facilities to select service providers that maintain quality and charge reasonable prices.
The rates of these services must also be publicised for the knowledge of patients, relatives of patients and medical staff.
Hospitals must also work with patient transport providers to set up operation regulations, ensuring transparency, and strictly punish those who force patients to use their services.
In addition, hospitals need to train and improve the communication and behaviour skills of hospital staff towards patients and their family members.
A hospital unit should be assigned the job of monitoring the services and of strictly punishing those who trouble patients.
Heads of medical units must take the responsibility for any violation that might hurt the legal benefits of patients, and must report the list of services being provided at their facilities to the Health Ministry.
Earlier, the ministry had asked the Hà Nội-based Paediatrics Hospital to quickly send a report regarding a case in which the hospital’s security guards prevented an ambulance from leaving the premises, as reported in the media and on social networks recently.
The security guards of the hospital had prevented an ambulance from leaving the hospital on July 3, even though it was carrying a nine-month-old heart patient.
The patient’s family members had asked the hospital to send the baby home because he was not expected to survive after undergoing surgery last month.
The baby’s family rented an ambulance from the central Nghệ An Province to bring him back from Hà Nội. The baby has died, newspapers report.
Last week, Lê Thanh Hải, the hospital’s director, apologised to the Vietnamese people for having allowed the incident to occur, and said the three security guards had been dismissed.