Confusion with hospital regulations ‘using borrowed machines’ in medical examination and treatment

Hospitals “stand still” when the Ministry of Finance said that medical examination and treatment units are not allowed to borrow or allow to order machines from the winning units of materials and chemicals.

In a dispatch sent to the Ministry of Health and Social Insurance of Vietnam on June 24, the Ministry of Finance affirmed that the law does not stipulate that public service providers can borrow property for use. Therefore, the Ministry of Health needs to direct medical examination and treatment units not to borrow machines or allow machines to be placed in hospitals, to avoid dependence on units that lend and order machines. In case of necessary procurement of supplies and chemicals with a machine to use, the Ministry of Finance requests the Ministry of Health to direct the lease of the property by method of bidding in accordance with the law on management and use of public property and the law. on bidding.

The agency also confirmed that since 2017 there have been many official dispatches sent to the Ministry of Health and Social Insurance of Vietnam, emphasizing that “there is no regulation on borrowing property for use”. Organizations and individuals wishing to donate, sponsor or aid in machinery need to establish ownership of the whole people and handle assets according to regulations.

Regarding current problems with the health sector, on July 8, a representative of the Ministry of Finance told VnExpress, it is not feasible to amend the regulations on management and use of public property in the direction of allowing “borrowing and lending” because if corrected, it could cause serious consequences. Instead of discussing the amendment of the law to follow the current way of hospitals, this representative said that they need to have a plan for procurement, investment, and management in accordance with the law on public investment, the law on state budget. country, government regulations if the hospital is an autonomous public service unit…

This is the latest development related to the payment of health insurance when the hospital uses borrowed and ordered machines from the winning units of chemical supplies to test patients. In May, Vietnam Social Security asked localities to stop paying for medical insurance for technical services using borrowed machines or machines ordered by the winning unit for materials and chemicals, based on the decision of the Ministry of Health. Health cancels the relevant dispatch. This makes many hospitals suddenly fall into a difficult position because of the great impact on medical examination and treatment activities as well as the rights and lives of patients. After that, the Ministry of Health met with Vietnam Social Insurance, agreed to allow hospitals to continue paying until the signed contract expires and has appropriate instructions.

Currently, most hospitals across the country use borrowed machines or ordered machines from winning companies for chemical supplies, instead of purchasing them themselves because of their economic advantages, meeting the requirements of diagnosis and treatment. sick. Hospitals believe that using machines borrowed and ordered from the winning units of chemical supplies brings many benefits in testing, medical examination and treatment, and avoids wasting the budget.

A technician works on a modern biochemical and immunological testing system at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Image: Quynh Tran

Responding to the press on July 8, Mr. Le Van Phuc, Head of the Health Insurance Policy Implementation Department under the Vietnam Social Insurance, said that this agency sent a document to the Ministry of Health yesterday, requesting instructions for handling after documents of the Ministry of Finance.

According to Mr. Phuc, in 2007, the Ministry of Health issued Circular 15 guiding the socialization of medical examination and treatment facilities in public facilities. This Circular does not have the form of borrowed or ordered machines. In 2015, Vietnam Social Insurance went to check and found that many medical examination and treatment facilities used machines borrowed or ordered from winning chemical companies. In addition to ordering and borrowing the machine, the business side also binds the number of technical services and the amount of chemicals to be performed from this machine. This unit has petitioned the Ministry of Health for specific guidance. After that, the Ministry of Health issued a document guiding medical examination and treatment establishments, requesting that the winning chemical bid be installed.

However, chemical tenders take place once a year, for a maximum of two years. Thus, if that chemical runs out, a new bid must be made and that machine continues to win the bid because it is a closing machine, which chemical goes with that machine, no matter that company A’s chemicals are used for the company’s machine. B.

Faced with this problem, in 2017, the Ministry of Finance, Health, and Social Insurance of Vietnam agreed to stipulate that the machine must not be ordered but must be rented or given as a gift.

“Vietnam Social Insurance has found that there are problems in the transformation, because up to now, after 5 years, the units have not changed into the form of renting or giving, or owning the whole people according to regulations,” said Mr. Phuc said and said, “Waiting for the direction of the parties to follow, specifically how to pay, whether to use the borrowed machine, order it or not”.

The Ministry of Health has not yet expressed a position on this issue. Meanwhile, a representative of Cho Ray Hospital (a last-line hospital in Ho Chi Minh City) said that he had not received any instructions from the Ministry of Health and Social Insurance of Vietnam after the dispatch of the Ministry of Finance. Previously, the hospital had repeatedly submitted recommendations for a comprehensive analysis of factors related to why it had to use borrowed and ordered machines, so it “doesn’t know what to do” with this official letter.

“After renting the machine, if you buy chemicals, you may be misunderstood to appoint a contractor or collude. If you don’t buy a machine, you will have a machine, but you can’t diagnose the disease without testing chemicals, you will be guilty of the patient.” hospital representative said.

Hong Chieu – Le Phuong – Quynh Trang


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