Ho Chi Minh City's call for investment into healthcare projects has gone largely unheeded for two years now, a senior health official has said.
Nguyen Van Chau, director at the municipal Health Department, said the city has offered various preferential land, tax and funding policies but very few investors are interested in the healthcare sector.
He said hospitals in the city are always overcrowded and are deteriorating rapidly, with a shortage of funds hitting key areas like waste treatment. As a result, the hospitals are failing to meet the healthcare demands of city residents.
According to the Health Department, one reason many investors are reluctant to spend money on healthcare projects is that there is no information on how much land is allotted to such projects.
The department said the city plans to spend a total of VND600 billion (US$31.6 million) for upgrading and building hospitals this year.
The Health Ministry had said last month that infrastructure at state-owned health clinics was substandard and local and foreign investment into healthcare was limited. Around 30,000 Vietnamese patients spend over $1 billion on overseas treatment a year, it said.