COVID-19 causes loss of revenues for HCM City public hospitals

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The Oncology Hospital in HCM City’s District 9. VNS Photo Gia Lộc

HCM CITY— Public hospitals in HCM City saw revenues fall by 9.6 per cent last year to VNĐ28.7 trillion (US$1.2 billion) due to the impacts of COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.

In a report it said they were down 35.9 per cent for the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, 27.1 per cent for the Ear, Nose, Throat Hospital and 24 per cent for the Children’s Hospital 1.

Health centres in districts 2, 3, 7, Bình Tân, Phú Nhuận, and Tân Phú reported decreases of more than 30 per cent.

However, salaries and electricity and water costs increased.

The expenses on medicines, chemicals and others were marginally down.

Assoc Prof Dr Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy head of the city Department of Health, said people were reluctant to go to health facilities because of the fear of contracting COVID-19, and the number of inpatients and outpatients reduced by 400,000 and 9.4 million.

Hospitals, especially those with financial autonomy, are thus facing difficulties, he said.

There are 82 with financial autonomy.

Thượng said his department would petition the Ministry of Health and city People’s Committee to announce policies to assist health facilities, especially those with financial autonomy, to resolve their difficulties.

Health officials should be allowed to reduce hospitals’ income tax, he said.

He said Việt Nam Social Security in HCM City has been delaying settlement of health insurance claims since 2017, leading to difficulties in paying staff and reducing their income by VNĐ2.5 million a month last year. VNS

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