Doctors perform a surgery in Phu Tho Hospital. A Ministry of Health plan to build additional satellite hospitals across the nation and upgrade existing ones lacks money and qualified personnel. (Photo: kcb.vn)

 A Ministry of Health’s plan to build additional satellite hospitals across the nation and upgrade existing ones lacks money and qualified personnel, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has said.

Tien said the scheme, started two years ago, involved transferring advanced medical techniques to new satellite hospitals in every city and province, if and when they were established.

At present, there are 46 satellite hospitals throughout Vietnam linked to a particular city hospital. Satellite staff are trained and given technical updates by that hospital.

In Hanoi and HCM City in the past two years, the Ministry has built 14 new satellite hospitals and sent top medical staff to teach new medical techniques.

In north Vietnam, 21 out of 28 district general hospitals have been linked to big city hospitals in Hanoi. Tien said that as the initial satellite hospital project had brought good results, the Prime Minister wanted the Ministry to introduce the model to all provinces.

To keep the scheme in operation, the Ministry wants local governments in cities and provinces to allocate funds to upgrade satellite hospitals and foster medical expertise. The Ministry will continue to provide training to medical workers of hospitals in districts.

Two years ago, 14 central hospitals throughout Vietnam were chosen by the Ministry as core facilities responsible for transferring advanced medical techniques to 46 satellite hospitals in 38 provinces and cities.

"Local authorities have to invest more to save lives," she said. "They have to build new buildings, provide more beds to reduce overloading and transfer advanced medical techniques to lower-level hospitals " she said.

At present, the Ministry is working with the banking sector to find ways for local governments to borrow money for satellite hospitals. "An increasing number of patients want top treatment. If hospitals can improve the quality of treatment, they will quickly recoup their investment. Therefore satellite hospitals should not hesitate to borrow funds," she said.

She hinted that the cost of medicinal services would soon rise, saying this would enable hospitals to collect more funds.-VNA