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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

HCMC seeks VND6.5 trillion from central budget to boost healthcare

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – HCMC is seeking a budget allocation of over VND6.5 trillion from the central Government for strengthening the grassroots healthcare network and upgrading three general hospitals in Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, and Thu Duc.

The municipal government has forwarded the proposal for the budget allocation—which is aimed at improving the capacity of grassroots healthcare facilities to meet the healthcare demand of local residents—to the ministries of Planning and Investment as well as Health, local news reports said.

Specifically, over VND2 trillion is needed for 184 grassroots healthcare projects and the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC), and VND4.5 trillion for upgrading the general hospitals in Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, and Thu Duc.

The city’s government had registered the proposal on January 13 under the Government’s program for socioeconomic recovery and development. However, the Ministry of Planning and Investment only provided a portfolio of projects for 41 communes, wards, and HCDC, with a total allocation of VND586 billion.

The fourth wave of Covid infections, which began in late April last year, laid bare  weaknesses in HCMC’s grassroots healthcare system, with community healthcare facilities from HCDC to district-level medical centers and grassroots-level medical stations found wanting in terms of human resources, organizational structure, and medical equipment.

Therefore, the city is now developing a scheme to enhance the healthcare capacity of grassroots facilities with lots of incentives, such as providing VND4–6 million monthly support for medical workers at grassroots facilities, inviting healthcare workers to work at medical stations, and increasing the headcount at medical stations.

According to the municipal government, the city’s healthcare sector receives and treats over 30 million patients each year, with 40–60% of the patients coming from southern localities. Hospitals in the city are usually overwhelmed by a large number of patients.

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