HCMC hospital lacks funds to build smart hospital project

Associate Professor Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet admitted that the hospital is facing many obstacles, especially the lack of skilled IT human resources and the lack of finance to implement the smart hospital project.

She made the statement at a meeting with the Department of Culture and Society of the People's Council of Ho Chi Minh City. The meeting was convened to monitor the implementation of the Project ‘Smart Health for the period 2021-2025 with a vision to 2030’.

At the meeting, Associate Professor Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, Director of Hung Vuong Hospital, said that on average, the hospital admits 35,000-40,000 newborns per year, performing 20,000-25,000 surgeries a year. To improve operational efficiency, the hospital has implemented many information technology (IT) application activities for smart healthcare.

According to Dr. Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, after more than a year of implementing the project, the city still does not have a standard hospital management system for the sector, so the connection and transmission of information in the sector still bumped into many obstacles. Worse, the procurement of equipment lacks funding and mechanisms.

She disclosed that the hospital managers have to take money from the hospital's savings to purchase 27 pieces of software to support the management, medical examination, and treatment. She moaned that after three-five years, the software will be outdated; at that time the hospital does not know where to get money to buy the new ones.

Facing these difficulties, the Director of Hung Vuong Hospital suggested that the city should soon add the cost of IT application to the hospital discharges; plus, there should be a specific procurement and hiring mechanism in the IT field to make it easy for hospitals to implement. Hospital management systems of hospitals need to be unified to facilitate connection, or information exchange as well as have a remuneration regime to attract good IT human resources.

Head of the Department of Culture and Social Affairs Cao Thanh Binh highly appreciated Hung Vuong Hospital's efforts in applying IT to build a smart hospital. He also emphasized that other infirmaries in the city also bumped into the same difficulties as Hung Vuong Hospital.

Mr. Cao Thanh Binh suggested that the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City should develop specific policies for specialized health care which will be submitted to the People's Council of Ho Chi Minh City for further consideration.

Last but not least, there should be a survey on the IT application situation of each hospital to soon issue a set of guiding criteria for hospitals to implement. Ho Chi Minh City Department of Home Affairs needs to adopt a plan to recruit good IT technicians for hospitals.