Public dissatisfaction with hospital services high, survey finds

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Nearly half the respondents in a recent survey said they were not satisfied with healthcare service and procedures at a number of leading hospitals in Hanoi.

A VnExpress report said Thursday that heavy workloads and low payment are to blame for the bad attitude among medical staff.

Many people have resorted to paying extra money to get better service, the report said.  

Satisfaction was lowest with K Hospital for cancer patients. More than 63 percent of the respondents complained about the services provided by this hospital, according to the survey conducted by the Vietnam National Union of Health Workers in July this year.

Four other hospitals surveyed were Viet Duc, Bach Mai, E Hospital and the Central Ob-Gyn Hospital.

Tran Thi Thanh Tam, vice chairwoman of the union, told the news website that the level of dissatisfaction recorded by the survey was "not small."

Tam said many people were not satisfied because of the long wait, the lack of care and respect shown by the medical staff, and late intervention in emergency cases.

Around 10 percent of the dissatisfaction was caused by rudeness and heartlessness of the medical staff, she said, citing the survey findings.

Tam said the overloading of hospitals and low wages paid to medical staff added pressure and affecting the latter's behavior and attitude.

The dissatisfaction has led to recent acts of violence targeting doctors at several hospitals and people have been killed, she said.

Many people have chosen to give the doctors and medical staff a "bonus" on their own to receive better treatment, the survey found.

Tran Tuan, director of the Research and Training Center for Community Development which last year conducted a study on bribery at hospitals, said the act of bribing doctors and medical staff proves that people have lost their confidence in healthcare services provided by the hospitals.

"Giving bribes is the only way for them to gain extra confidence," Tuan said.

Former Health Minister Pham Song said bribery at hospitals had become more common since 2000 as hospitals have been overloaded with patients.

"When the demand is too big, and anyone wants their treatment to come first, bribery is a natural consequence," Song said.

He also blamed poor incomes in the healthcare sector that does not reward people adequately for studying and working hard under higher pressure than many other professions.

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