HCM city outskirt hospitals make post-COVID breakthroughs

(VOVWORLD) - Located on HCM city outskirts, Binh Chanh district hospital, which once faced many post-pandemic difficulties, has now become one of the most reliable district-level hospitals in Vietnam’s largest metropolis.
HCM city outskirt hospitals make post-COVID breakthroughs  - ảnh 1Doctors of Binh Chanh hospital perform a pacemaker implant under the supervision of experts from the HCM city Heart Institute. (Photo credit: Binh Chanh district hospital)

Last December Binh Chanh district hospital, with the support of experts from Ho Chi Minh city’s Heart Institute, successfully implanted a pacemaker, a first in cardiovascular intervention techniques for a district-level hospital.

Five years ago, 56-year-old Nguyen Thuy Van was diagnosed with sinus node failure and was advised by Cho Ray Hospital to get a pacemaker implanted. Due to family economic difficulties, Van decided just to take medicine and postpone the operation.

At the end of last year, when Binh Chanh district hospital began offering a cardiovascular intervention program at a reasonable price, Van decided to have a coronary stent implanted.

She recalled, “Someone asked me why I didn’t go to a big hospital for the surgery. I told them that when I’m seriously ill, I have no choice but do whatever the doctors tell me. After the operation, I felt much better. The doctors visit me frequently. My brother said this hospital isn’t big but it’s very professional. I’ve been very satisfied so far.”

Doctor Phạm Nguyen Anh Vu, head of the general planning section, said that many years ago the Binh Chanh district hospital was unable to handle complex cases such as stent implant.  It used to transfer some 30 patients a month who needed cardiovascular intervention.

The hospital eventually started sending doctors to the Ho Chi Minh city Heart Institute to study and preparing necessary facilities for cardiovascular intervention.

HCM city outskirt hospitals make post-COVID breakthroughs  - ảnh 2Patients at Binh Chanh district hospital receive attentive care from the moment they are admitted until they are discharged.

Doctor Anh Vu said the number of people coming to the hospital for heart disease treatment is on the rise.

“Two doctors and 3 technicians are studying interventional cardiology at the HCM city Heart Institute. In a few months, they will be able to do the surgery themselves with the support of experts,” Vu said, adding the hospital has also asked professors from Ho Chi Minh city University of Medicine and Pharmacy and Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine to help employees perform intervention techniques.

Binh Chanh district hospital is a self-financing hospital. When very few people came for medical checkups during the COVID-19 pandemic, it lost revenue.

Doctor Vo Ngoc Cuong, the hospital’s Deputy Director, revealed that during a wave of medical staff resignations, the management  persuaded employees to stay on a few more months while the hospital tried to improve its income.

After about 3 months, things took a positive turn, and 90% of those who had intended to leave withdrew their resignation.

Early last year, between 300 and 400 patients visited the hospital each day, with 500 on some days. By the third quarter, those numbers had tripled or quadrupled.

The hospital responded by improving its IT system and medical examination process to shorten the waiting time for patients and invited experts from central-level hospitals to provide consultation.

“We intend to give young immigrant doctors a place to stay and work so that they can contribute to the hospital as full-time doctors," said Cuong.

Binh Chanh district hospital is expected to become a first-class hospital in the next few years and one of the key medical facilities in the western region of Ho Chi Minh city.