Hospitals stop overtime examination due to shortage of physicians

Public hospitals in the Mekong delta are running low on doctors who have been quitting their job; accordingly, the hospitals stopped overtime examination affecting insured patients’ benefits.

Soc Trang General Hospital in the Mekong Detla (Photo: SGGP)

Soc Trang General Hospital in the Mekong Detla (Photo: SGGP)

Lately, there has been increase in the number of well-qualified and experienced doctors at public hospitals shifting to private workplaces in the Mekong delta region.
A doctor who left public medical facility in Kien Giang said that after graduation, he applied to work in a grass-root infirmary at low salary while a director of a private clinic in Ho Chi Minh City was willing to offer VND18 million ($775) to him as month salary.
As a result, he left the district infirmary in Kien Giang to work for the new clinic in HCMC.
Director of the Department of Health in Ca Mau Nguyen Van Dung said that state-run hospitals are facing brain drain of doctors which is a headache for leaders. From 2015, 150 physicians in the province have submitted their resignation.
There has been many various reasons for the problem; however, Dr. Dung explained that low salary is the main one. A graduate receive VND3 million a month while they are offered income of VND20 million to work in private clinics.
Hospitals stop providing examination and treatment in Saturday and Sunday leading to difficulties for patients especially insured ones.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc complained that she had to pay more in private clinics for examination of her children as the hospital of her first choice stop examining in Saturday when she is free from work.
Overtime examination is not mandatory, said Director of Bac Lieu Department of Health Bui Quoc Nam; yet, some public hospitals in the province provide overtime examination on Saturday morning to facilitate patients.
For years, health sector can’t recruit enough physicians to meet patients’ needs; therefore, many all infirmaries can do it.

By TAN THAI - Translated by ANH QUAN

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