The program on using non-cash payment methods at all schools and hospitals in the locality initiated by HCMC authorities may fail as it has not been welcomed by the public.
The municipal authorities have decided that by December 2019, non-cash payment must be implemented for education, healthcare, electricity, water, environment, telecom and post services in the city.
Patients make payment for healthcare services in cash
Nguoi lao dong reported that while water, electricity and telecom service providers have successfully begun collecting fees via non-cash payment channels, hospitals and education establishments have found it difficult to implement the policy.
Nguyen Khac Vui, deputy director of Sai Gon General Hospital, said the hospital had applied non-cash payment methods since 2017. However, only foreign patients use the methods, while Vietnamese still pay in cash.
The HCMC Medical & Pharmaceutical University Hospital in late 2018 began taking registrations for healthcare services via website and apps and accepting payment with ATM and credit cards, and other non-cash payment methods.
Most patients pay in cash. Instead of paying via cards, they would rather queue up at ATMs to withdraw cash and make payments in cash.
However, most patients pay in cash. Instead of paying via cards, they would rather queue up at ATMs to withdraw cash and make payments in cash.
The non-cash payment program was launched at Cho Ray Hospital in late 2013. However, according to Pham Thanh Viet from the hospital, the payment via cards can be applied only at the Department of On-demand Examination and Department of Obstertics and Gynaecology.
Every day, the hospital receives 10,000 patients.
Nguyen Thanh Hung, director of Nhi Dong 1 Hospital, reported the same situation, saying that very few patients choose to make non-cash payment. The hospital receives a high number of patients from other provinces and cities and they are not used to non-cash payments.
Tran Ngoc Hai from Tu Du Hospital said the hospital does not force patients to use non-cash payments.
Similarly, the non-cash payment program has been making no headway at general schools, despite attractive preferences from banks. The banks which are members of the School Card Program (SSC Program) have committed not to collect fees for the first six months of use.
Hoang Son Hai, headmaster of Nguyen Chi Thanh High School, confirmed that parents would rather come to school directly to pay tuition rather than transfer money via bank accounts.
“Parents explain that they have cash, so it is more convenient for them to pay in cash,” he explained.
The director of a joint stock bank which has teamed up with a hospital to provide non-cash payment service complained that the number of clients was too modest. He said he was not sure how long the program can last and when the bank can take back the investment capital.