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Vietnam Today

Interest-free loans for medical sector

Released at: 14:30, 06/03/2015

Interest-free loans for medical sector

PM raises measures to reduce hospital overcrowding.

by Ha An

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has confirmed that the government is willing to provide preferential and even interest-free loans to investors in medical services, to address overcrowding and improve prices.

The PM made the remarks at a meeting on March 4 with the Ministry of Health (MoH) on reducing overcrowding at hospitals in the 2013-2020 period. He suggested a number of policies aimed at attracting more investment.

According to a report from MoH on two years of implementing plans to reduce overcrowding, the Ministry has invested funds to improve and upgrade all hospitals in the country, with bed numbers increasing by nearly 39,000, of which 15,000 were at new hospitals. It also established 14 central hospitals and 46 satellite hospitals around the country.

Under the plan, 58 per cent of hospitals that previously had more than one patient per bed no longer need do so. Forty-seven per cent of provincial hospitals have also cut overcrowding and many public hospitals have done likewise.

Speaking at the meeting, the PM said that since 2008 the State has spent more than VND120 trillion ($5.7 billion) on the medical sector. "The increase of 39,000 beds and efforts to transfer technology have contributed to reducing overcrowding by 30 per cent," he said. In 2015 and during 2016-2017, MoH will invest in five hospitals, with a total of 4,500 new beds.

The PM requested MoH prepare a list of hospitals in need of upgrading during 2016-2020, for the government to allocate budget funds and investment resources. "It's difficult to build high quality hospitals if the only source of funds is the State budget," he said. "Therefore, the government is willing to offer preferential or interest-free loans to address the situation."

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