By Cullen Browder, WRAL presenter/reporterFor nearly two years, WRAL Investigates has been covering the mental…
Health care workers taking a sample from a woman for COVID-19 testing in Phu Doan Street, Hanoi in September 2021. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Low earnings, high work pressure and unattractive pay policies are cited as reasons why nearly 9,400 health workers left their jobs in public facilities to join private health facilities between early 2021 and June 2022.
This was revealed in a Vietnam Health Union report that was recently sent to the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour.
According to the report, according to the current regulations on salaries and allowances, a doctor after six years of study and 18 months of practice to obtain a practicing certificate, will receive almost 4.9 million VND (209 USD). per month. The amount consists of a salary of almost 3.5 million VND (149 USD) and an allowance of almost 1.4 million VND (60 USD). The allowance is equal to 40% of the salary.
The amount of money healthcare workers received each month did not deduct a social and health insurance payment like the settlements.
With the salary, it is very difficult to retain health workers working in public health facilities, according to the report.
The income of health workers at private health facilities is often triple or quadruple, in some places the income is five or six times that of public health facilities, according to the report.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, health officials and employees have become the
frontline force in disease prevention and control. The labor intensity was particularly difficult when the number of new cases increased, according to the report.
“Health workers hardly have days off and they have to work with high intensity for a long time, especially for health workers in high population localities such as HCM City and several southern provinces,” the report said. .
Health workers often have to work in a dangerous environment, with a high risk of contracting the disease, and in some cases it can be life threatening. This has profoundly affected the psychology and work motivation of health workers, according to the report.
The report also revealed that another cause of people leaving was recent cases of law violations in the procurement of medicines, medical supplies and equipment which affected the working environment of health personnel.
It has also caused a lack of modern equipment to deploy high-tech medical services, a lack of medicines, even a lack of common medical tools and protective equipment for health workers.
Therefore, health workers tend to move to private health facilities with better working conditions and environment, according to the report.
The report adds that the strong development of private hospitals and health clinics with a modern and friendly working environment is another reason why public health workers are making the switch. Private medical institutions are willing to offer high salaries, while public health institutions have no mechanism to retain them.
The union has proposed to increase the level of allowances for public officials working in preventive medicine and basic health from 40% to 100% in order to attract more staff.
At the same time, the Party and the government should authorize the Ministry of Health to adjust the price of medical services, including the price of medical examinations and treatment services for health insurance affiliates. This will help increase the income of public health institutions so that public health institutions have more funds to increase the income of health workers.
In addition, the relevant authorities are proposing to the government to provide funding to support health workers in their contributions to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Each worker should receive an allowance, equivalent to or double their monthly salary.
It is advisable to consider raising the starting salary of newly graduated doctors to attract young doctors and provide more allowances to experienced doctors, the union said.
The government should have special support policies for health officials and employees working in extremely difficult areas, where natural disasters and epidemics often occur, the union said.
It is necessary to have preferential policies to attract doctors, nurses and technicians working in the fields of tuberculosis, psychiatry and emergency resuscitation./.