Family healthcare clinics fail to attract patients
  • By Van Son | | March 29, 2017 09:01 AM
Poor equipment and facilities have been blamed for the failure in the new family healthcare clinics to attract patients.


Family medicine piloted in HCM City for four years

After piloting family medicine in HCM City for four years, 19 out of 23 district hospitals established family medical centres. There are also 13 private centres and 191 out of 319 ward and communal medical stations also set up their own family medicine clinics.

However, people only go to the centres under district hospitals as they have modern equipment and a full supply of medicines covered by health insurance. The clinics set up by ward and communal medical stations are mostly deserted.

Many problems have been discussed during a meeting with the Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien on March 27. According to the HCM City Department of Health, most of the communal clinics only have one doctor and poor equipment. In addition, the low salaries and bonuses haven’t encouraged the doctors to stay.

The supply of medicines covered by health insurance is also an issue that must be dealt with. There is no collaboration with the district hospitals to monitor the patient health in cases where they need to be transferred.

Moreover, the test results at clinics are not recognised by the district hospitals. The representative of health centre of District 1 said that patients only go to district hospitals. If this continues, the family medical clinics can't exist.

Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said, "In order to develop the family medicine centre model, the hospitals and clinics must work closely together. The clinics can't be neglected like that. The ministry will issue a revised circular to clarify about finance, technical categories and basic medicines at ward and communal clinics.

Tien went on to say that the health insurance would cover the basic technique for subclinical diagnosis, treatment of mild diseases and common diseases. In near future, the packages for comprehensive health management and primary health care will also be covered by health insurance.

She said the revised circular would help the family medicines clinics and centres prevent epidemics and non-contagious diseases, provide primary health care, detect and treat minor diseases.

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