Making news

HCM City welcomes volunteers to relieve overwhelmed health care system

More than 1,300 people in Ho Chi Minh City have signed up to volunteer for the fight against the outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant following an appeal letter from Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.

Volunteers include nearly 300 doctors, 200 pharmacists and nearly 700 people working in various sectors joining the front lines.

The city’s Department of Health is mobilising volunteers for COVID-19 treatment health facilities and districts facing a shortage of human resources for prevention and control activities.

Son, head of the ministry’s special standing division in HCM City, issued an appeal letter on July 24 calling for people with a medical background, including active and retired medical officers, lecturers and students, as well as members of health associations, to help relieve some of the burden on the healthcare system, which is now under severe strain.

People can sign up to volunteer by contacting the Department of Health via 02839309967 or 0907574269.

Last week, city leaders asked the central Government to mobilise more than 12,000 medical officers, including doctors, nurses, and medical technicians to support the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 outbreak has overwhelmed the city’s public healthcare system, which is estimated to be capable of treating about 30,000 COVID-19 cases, according to Son.

The city is in dire need of support from the central Government and the Ministry of Health to add more resources to curb the outbreak.

As of July 25, the city had reported more than 61,192 cases since late April.

The newly established HCM City Rehabilitation Hospital with 1,000 beds for severely and critically ill patients needs more than 1,300 medical staff, said Dr. Nguyễn Tri Thuc, director of HCM City COVID-19 Rehabilitation Hospital.

It has 835 medical officers and administrative staff so far, according to Thuc, who is director of Cho Ray Hospital.

With a surge in the number of cases, the hospital asked the Ministry of Health to mobilise more human resources for treatment of severe cases.

Dr. Nguyen Duy Long, director of the 115 Emergency Centre in HCM City, said the centre was struggling as 1,200-1,800 positive COVID-19 cases were being transferred to hospitals every day, far exceeding its capacity.

He has asked the health sector to mobilise more emergency medical staff from other health facilities to provide emergency services for COVID-19 patients in a timely manner.

The COVID-19 Treatment Hospital No. 2 in the city’s District 12 with nearly 200 medical staff is now operating at full capacity to receive COVID-19 patients.

The hospital has proposed adding more physicians who are respiratory specialists as doctors there are working double their normal shift./.