Health insurance card holders still annoyed by waiting for turns

Most concerns of health insurance card holders, especially the elder, at state hospitals are that it took hours to see doctors.

At 6 Am everyday, the ward for insurance health examination of Nguyen Tri Phuong hospital in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 5 is not open but patients throng the lobbies and benches around the ward.

Patients wait for seeing doctors at the 115 Hospital (Photo: SGGP)

Moreover, the number of waiting patients for their turns to see doctors on the electronic board is 2,000.  Ms Le Thi Kim Thuy in suburban district Binh Chanh said she had to get up at 4 Am, but she had 2118 number in hand.

Meanwhile another patient in district 7 complained that it took him two hours to able to see doctors but a doctor just had a quick look and asked him to pay money for heart rate monitoring and heart scan. He ought to seek these rooms to have his heart monitored and scanned.

The situation is the same in other public medical clinics. A crowd of patients lie down or sit in every corner and available space in the city-based Traumatic Orthopedic Hospital and People’s 115 Hospital.

In a meeting to review one year implementation of new health insurance law which comes into effect on July 1, 2009, Bui Minh Dong, deputy chief of the city Society Insurance Company said more over 4 million people joined health insurance, 40 percent higher than the time before the new law taking effect but only a few hospitals have applied IT in management of patients practically.

In addition, facilities of some district medical clinics in poor repair can’t satisfy increasing demands as Dr. Tran Thanh My, director of the Traumatic Orthopedic Hospital complained.

Dr. Nguyen Dai Bien, head of the Examination Ward of the People’s 115 Hospital, said it takes a long time find rooms patients need, nurses are assigned to lead patients to exact rooms; however, it is big efforts of the hospital because it serenely lacks personnel and  financial problems.

Moreover, some hospitals want to raise staffs’ monthly earning by encouraging patients to use additional services. Anyone wants to see doctors soon, they should pay additional sum of VND47,000.

It is needed to work out a saving-time examination process.

By Tuong Lam - Translated by Truong Son

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