The Government has agreed that public healthcare centres and medical schools can cooperate with individuals or organisations to upgrade or build healthcare facilities, reports

Hospitals and healthcare centres can now legally use their capital, infrastructure, capacity and quality or prestige to launch ventures with investors to build new healthcare institutions and operate like businesses.

In case the public healthcare institutions contribute their capacity, quality and prestige to a joint venture, these intangible assets must be appraised by the relevant agencies before the joint venture is established.

More importantly, the contribution ratios of the parties in a joint venture must be maintained throughout the period of their cooperation, and even when their business is expanded.

These institutions are allowed to decide the operation mechanism and management methods themselves.

The duration of the joint ventures depends on parties' decision.

The public health institutions are also permitted to send their staff to work at private healthcare centres, if a consensus is reached between the employer and the employees.

In addition, the Government has asked the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) to grant loans to public healthcare institutions to help them invest in their joint ventures or projects.

In case the healthcare centres take loans from other banks, the State will subsidise the difference between the interest rate of the commercial banks and that of VDB.

The public healthcare institutions are also eligible to use capital contributed by organisations and individuals, including public officers and staff of that institutions. They also can use their funds for career development to develop their operations.

Under the Government's decree, the rates of healthcare services in these institutions are calculated to ensure that these healthcare providers can recover their investment and gain profit.

The leaders of public healthcare institutions can legally decide the rates for services within the range regulated by the health and finance ministries.

The healthcare centres that operate like businesses are eligible to decide their rates, but are required to list them publicly under regulations.-VNA