Public hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City will increase fees for non-insured patients by 30 percent from August 1(Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - Public hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City which do not receive local funds for regular expenditures will increase fees for non-insured patients by 30 percent from August 1, according to the city’s Department of Health.

Public hospitals which receive part of the city’s funds for regular expenditures or are fully funded by the city with the State Budget also plan to increase fees, beginning in October 1.

The department said the increases had been approved by the city’s People’s Council.

HCM City is one of the last provinces and cities in the country to increase hospital fees under the Ministry of Health’s guidance released in March.

The increased fees are mostly for health examinations and beds, according to Dinh Thi Lieu, head of finance and accounting division at the health department.

The fees for health examinations, for instance, will increase to 29,000 VND (1.7 USD) -39,000 VND from 7,000-20,000 VND, depending on the kind of public hospital.

Public hospitals are divided into four categories based on the medical procedures they perform.

Non-insured patients will be affected the most by the fee increases, Lieu said.

According to the HCM City-based Vietnam Social Insurance, 80 percent of the city’s population have insurance health cards. Hospital fees for insured patients increased in June.

The higher fees help cover regular expenditures for public hospitals and salaries for health officials.

The city budget from October will no longer provide funds to all public hospitals, except Nhan Ai Hospital, which provides treatment for people in the final stage of AIDS; Ben San Hospital, which treats patients with leprosy; the Psychology Hospital; and the Paediatrics Hospital.

The health department also plans to speed up insurance coverage for all citizens and grant financial autonomy to public hospitals in the city.-VNA