Hanoi – Due to recent large violation cases, hospitals are reluctant to organize procurement bidding, causing a medical supply scarcity. Some patients have bought their own from outside sources.

Nguyn Th Minh’s mother had hip replacement surgery after three days in the ER for a femoral neck fracture. Insufficient medical supplies delayed the operation.

Minh: “I expected my mom would have surgery soon so she could recover quickly.”  “However, the physicians told us it was postponed due to a scarcity of medical supplies after many emergency procedures. The revised schedule was promised soon.

Others had to buy medicine and surgical instruments outside. Linh, a Hanoi resident, bought hypodermic needles and catheters for her relative. Her insurance didn’t cover the VN800,000 (US$34.4) bill.

Linh: “The supply scarcity is making us miserable. “I was racing to acquire catheters before the procedure.” Unnamed Hanoi hospital manager: “Lacking medical resources after emergency cases, we continually have to apologize for postponing surgery.”

In many circumstances, we must urge them to wait for medical insurance, acquire supplies from other sources, or go to other medical facilities.

Doctor Trn Văn Phc of Saint Paul General Hospital blames delays in bidding and procurement for the current shortage of medical supplies and medicine.

In the current legal climate, instruction circulars don’t cover all possible situations, and arrests for bidding violations have unnerved procurement workers.

“It’s clear that offenders must bear responsibility for their acts, but the legal structure must also be improved so current employees have job guarantees.

Hospitals choose the lowest price. In actuality, material, storage, transportation, and distribution prices can rise, thus medical facilities can’t buy supplies at anticipated prices.

Dr. Nguyn Huy Quang, former head of the health ministry’s legal affairs department, said: “The health sector is struggling because workers can easily become violators, notably in acquiring medical equipment, joint ventures, and socialization.”

Many hospitals don’t know the law. Official instruction documents must specify the public property, investment, and bidding laws.

Quang said the health industry should be regulated separately because it affects people’s health. Dr. Nguyn Anh Tr remarked in a meeting on modifying the Medical Examination and Treatment Law on Monday that the procurement of medical supplies, biologicals, and pharmaceuticals is disrupted, affecting patients and people.

Dr. Tr advises prioritizing legal modifications, including the Law on Medical Examination and Treatment, Law on Health Insurance, and Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, as well as price, procurement, and public property regulations. He added medical personnel requires a thorough legal framework.

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