HCM City seeks to solve shortage of medical staff hinh anh 1Doctors of Trung Vuong Hospital in HCM City’s District 10 perform an endovascular intervention on a patient​ (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Public hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City will be allowed to employ doctors and other health staff members without the city’s household registration book starting in November, helping them solve a shortage of medical staff, according to the city Department of Health.

The current regulation which allows state offices, departments and public establishments including hospitals to employ only staff with an HCM City’s household registration book, had caused difficulties for them in hiring.

The Department of Health said that public hospitals, such as Pham Ngoc Thanh Hospital, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Cu Chi and Can Gio district hospitals, have not been able to hire doctors and other medical staff due to this regulation in spite that they were in a severe shortage of the staff.

Dr Huynh Van Luyen, head of the Can Gio District Hospital, told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper that the Department of Health had sent doctors of city hospitals to work turn-by-turn at the hospital to help ensure enough doctors to serve local demand for health examination and treatment.

The hospital also has signed short-term contracts with retired doctors, Luyen said.

Nha Be District Hospital has not employed enough doctors to meet demand, Dr Nguyen Huu Tho, the hospital’s head, said, adding that it needs to hire 10 additional doctors each year, but only two or three doctors have been employed.

Moreover, representatives of public hospitals said that many qualified medical graduates who come from other provinces and want to work at public hospitals in the city are not allowed to.

On August 24, the city People’s Committee issued the decision on abolishing the regulation.

According to Luyen, the new decision will help his hospital hire enough qualified doctors.

However, managers of public hospitals in provinces are worried because they will face a shortage of qualified doctors.

They are worried about whether qualified doctors, who are working at their hospitals, will quit jobs and go to work at public hospitals in the city.

Nguyen Thanh Tung, head of Hau Giang province’s Department of Health, said that most medical students wanted to stay in the city to work after graduating because of higher income and better incentives as well as chances for accessing advanced medical techniques to improve their skills.

"Only a few of them go back to their native province to work," Tung said.

Dr Nhan To Tai, head of the District 12 Hospital, said that if hospitals in provinces failed to have enough doctors, local residents would continue going straight to health facilities in HCM City for health examination and treatment, leading to more overcrowding of patients, which the city has tried to solve many times.

According to Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, chief of the city’s Department of Health’s Secretariat, public hospitals should develop good working environments and provide better incentives to help doctors have chances to improve their skills in order to avoid the doctors quitting.-VNA