FV Hospital offers services to cancer patients hinh anh 1HCM City-based FV Hospital is offering check-ups and treatment to nearly 900 cancer patients who hold national health insurance cards (Photo: fvhospital.com)

HCM City (VNA) – HCM City-based FV Hospital is offering check-ups and treatment to nearly 900 cancer patients who hold national health insurance cards in order to ease the burden on the public hospital system.

The hospital is the first foreign-invested hospital to offer services for cancer patients with such cards.

The hospital received approval from the Vietnam Social Insurance and Ministry of Heatlh in early July last year to offer the service.

The hospital plans to invest 3 million USD to 5 million USD to upgrade its oncology department to accomodate the added patients, according to Pham Thi Thanh Mai, Chief Operating Officer of the hospital.

According to the hospital’s contract with Social Insurance-HCM City, the latter will partly cover expenses for check-ups, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and other services.

Medicine used for chemotherapy will be covered at a rate of 30 to 90 percent by insurance health fund. Moreover, the fund will cover a part of fee for testing and other medical service. Patients with radiotherapy will be covered 500,000 VND (22 USD) each day.

With the acceptance of the cards, all 150 hospitals and health clinics in HCM City and all provincial hospitals can transfer patients to FV Hospital.

Nguyen Thi Thuong Thuong, 60, who was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, recently underwent treatment at FV Hospital by using her health insurance card.

“I registered at FV Hospital in July 2015. In one year, health insurance paid for 700 million VND, half of the treatment expenses. Before that, I registered for treatment at HCM City Tumour Hospital, but it was overloaded. So I decided to move to FV Hospital,” Thuong said.

More private hospitals

More private hospitals and clinics have signed up with HCM City’s Social Insurance Agency, offering insured patients more options and helping ease the massive load on public hospitals, Luu Thi Thanh Huyen, deputy director of the agency, said.

Fifty private facilities in HCM City, including 20 hospitals, have signed off on agreements so far.

The number of public hospitals – 69 - is not much higher, she said.

The private establishments are doing it to attract a larger share of the total number of patients, she said.

However, only 75.2 percent of the city’s population is covered by health insurance, according to figures released by the agency.

The Government had targeted covering 76.4 percent of the city’s population.

Since March public hospitals’ fees have risen by 30 percent, and 60 percent in the case of those with financial autonomy.

The health insurance fund has increased its cover for nearly 1,900 medical services by 30 percent.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said healthcare subsidies would be cut gradually to enable poor people to buy health insurance.

The increase in hospital fees would apply for uninsured patients starting later this year to encourage them to buy health insurance, she added.-VNA