Saturday, July 18, 2009

Medical system in VN

I've made an active effort to learn more about the medical system here.

My doctor friend took me on a tour of the hospital and answered my questions (when I volunteered to teach English in SF, one of my students turned out to be a doctor in Saigon...crazy where connections can take you).

So I always think the doctors in America don't give each patient enough time. Vietnamese doctors are seeing about 20 patients an hour. I was like....what the???! How is that possible unless they walk in and out the door. Also, each hospital has another floor for people who are willing to pay more...the floor isn't amazing. There's still a bunch of beds in one room and all the patients can see each other..and those are the good rooms. They said that if they had money, they would also have curtains like in America. The emergency room is just a big room with a bunch of beds and sick or injured people laying on it waiting to be seen or pushed into the appropriate department.

Health insurance is given only to the selected care providers automatically have it. Right now health care insurance in Vietnam is all public, but according to the doctor I talked to, only 30% of the population have's really hard to get it, even if you have money. Furthermore, right now they are trying to switch to universal health care insurance.

Abortion is legal here and seems to be done pretty frequently...for younger girls (under 18), they need parental consent...but not really. Money solves all, and it's such a taboo here that the doctor will just do it anyway rather than make the girl deal with family reputation and such being lost. One of my Vietnamese friends (a few years older than me) says a lot of her friends have gotten pregnant and gotten abortions already.

That's pretty much all I know for now.

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