Ministry to tackle overcrowding in hospitals

Though many medical facilities have now improved and upgraded their services they still remain overcrowded with patients who need to be admitted for treatment or have to consult with doctors.

The Ministry of Health acknowledged this dire and aggravating condition at a meeting on March 22 in Hanoi, in which they discussed implementing the Prime Minister’s directive in finding urgent ways to reduce overcrowding in hospitals for the period 2013-2020.

Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, said despite efforts to improve and speed up the process of treatment, it is a challenge because patients have to wait a long time to see doctors, and improper behavior of medical staff with patients and low professional skills of doctors in districts does not help in easing the situation.

Last year, the numbers of beds in 1,000 hospitals were increased to 12,700, resulting in 24.7 beds per 10,000 people. More than 132 million people come to medical facilities each year. In central hospitals, the bed capacity exceeds 120 percent while according to the World Health Organization, 85 percent bed capacity leads to overcrowding and bad treatment quality.

The Ministry of Health wants to focus on improving treatment quality in districts and the setting up of satellite clinics for big hospitals, as well as a family doctor service. The health sector will issue guidelines for treatment procedures, so as to restrict rampant testing, and also look into improving medical staff behavior.

By Ngyen Quoc - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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