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Private hospitals may lose insured patients next year

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Nearly 200 private hospitals nationwide may lose huge numbers of patients with health insurance policies next year given a new regulation of Vietnam Social Security (VSS).

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A doctor examines a child at a private hospital. Nearly 200 private hospitals nationwide may lose huge numbers of patients with health insurance policies next year 


VSS has announced that those private hospitals and clinics that have not been categorized will not be allowed to provide medical services for the medically insured from January 1 next year.

Pham Minh Nghia, chairman of Lam Hoa Private General Hospital in the northern province of Thai Binh, said if the hospital is not allowed to serve insured patients from next year, it may see a plunge of patients as 80% of its patients are covered by health insurance. VSS should have worked with the Ministry of Health before it had made such a decision, said Nghia.

The social insurance agency of Thai Binh Province has asked private clinics in the province to fulfill VSS’s requirement prior to December 12 and said it will sign social insurance agreements with hospitals on December 31. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has not categorized private health facilities, so they will find it difficult to implement VSS’s fresh regulation.

The Ministry of Health and the Private Hospital Association have not issued criteria for classifying private hospitals despite many meetings having been held over the past years, said Nguyen Thi Quang Hien, general director of Hoang Viet Thang Private General Hospital in Hue City.

According to the Medical Services Administration under the Ministry of Health, the number of private hospitals has surged 5.2 times since 2014, making up 1.6% of all hospitals nationwide. They have contributed tremendously to the healthcare sector.

Nguyen Thanh Hoi from the Private Hospital Association said the categorization of private hospitals is regulated in a circular of the Ministry of Health that came out in 2013. However, the classification of such hospitals has not been stipulated and the later decision of the Ministry of Health is unfair for private hospitals.

Nguyen Van Hoang Dao, vice chairman of the Private Hospital Association, said private hospitals cannot operate without patients as these hospitals have adopted financial autonomy.

The new VSS regulation indicates private hospitals are still facing discrimination though they have received no funding from the State.



Source: SGT 

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