Patients register for their health examination at the Hoai Duc district General Hospital. — VNA

Hanoi (VNA) - Several major hospital construction projects that would have provided residents of the capital and its surroundings with thousands of beds have been abandoned over the past decade.

Such was the case with the planned Ha Dong International Hospital in Ha Dong district, with a total area of about 16.65ha.

The project was approved by the former Ha Tay province People’s Committee (the province has since been merged into Hanoi). In 2008, the Ha Long Investment and Development Co Ltd announced its investment in the new hospital complex.

In 2011, the Hanoi People’s Committee asked the investor to speed up the project’s progress, but by 2014, the ground clearance had not even been completed.

Recently, the Aeon Vietnam Company signed a contract with the Ha Long company to build a mall in Ha Dong district. The capital authorities have thus decided to change the plan and approve a smaller hospital with a mall next door.

Under the new plan, the Ha Dong International Hospital will be built on 7.1ha with 600 beds, occupying nearly 43 percent of the land. And the remaining piece of land will be used to build the mall on 9.5ha.

Another plan was approved in 2011 by the Hanoi People’s Committee to build four hospitals, each with 1,000 beds, in four suburban districts to meet residents’ demand.

Under the plan, the Northern General Hospital would be built in Me Linh district, scheduled to start in September 2011 and open for public use in June 2013. The second hospital was to be built in Dan Phuong or Thach That district on 10ha, scheduled to start in September 2011.

The third hospital was planned for Gia Lam district and the fourth for Phu Xuyen district.

The Hanoi People’s Committee assigned the municipal Department of Planning and Investment to mobilise capital for the plan.

Nguyen Xuan Truong, chairman of the Me Linh district People’s Committee, told the Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that after the municipal authorities issued a decision related to the Me Linh hospital, the district hospital moved to another place to make room for the new facility.

The new Me Linh hospital was expected to serve the demand of residents from Soc Son, Dong Anh, Dan Phuong districts and neighbouring provinces, such as Vinh Phuc and Phu Tho. “We looked forward to the project,” he said.

But local authorities appear to have changed their policies on medical facilities, preferring smaller, more specialised ones to major district hospitals.

At a recent conference between the Ministry of Health and the Hanoi People’s Committee, Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said that the Government agreed to build a paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology hospital in Quoc Oai district, and a dental, stomatology and ophthalmology hospital in a suburban district.

Officials of the Hanoi People’s Committee held that the city should not build big hospitals, and build smaller hospitals instead, located in residential quarters so that residents can access them easily for examination and treatment.-VNA