On March 24, at a meeting with the press to provide information about the healthcare situation in Q1, press agencies raised questions about the 7,000 dossiers of medical equipment still awaiting licenses. This is one of the issues of biggest concern now as hospitals need medical equipment for examination and disease treatment.

Nguyen Tu Hieu, deputy director of the Department of Medical Equipment and Construction (DMEC) under the Ministry of Health (MOH), said under the government’s Decree 98, MOH has examined documents and granted numbers for circulation.

However, the number of dossiers has been overly high, and some scandals concerning violations in medical equipment procurement have affected the psychology of officers. 

Independent experts, for example, are apprehensive when reading and checking documents. Also, the number of workers who directly manage documents and directly handle dossiers at MOH is very small.

DMEC, for example, has only seven specialists who not only have to examine documents, but also have to undertake many other duties. In the time to come, when the department turns into the Department of Infrastructure and Medical Equipment in accordance with the government’s Resolution 95, the staff will be larger and capable of handling outstanding dossiers.

In general, units that apply for certificates for circulation of medical equipment want the right for five amendments and supplements of dossiers. It is estimated that over 90 percent of dossiers have asked for amendments.

“After every amendment, as this can be done on the electronic information portal, enterprises can replace all the content or make partial changes, so officers have to read the documents again from the beginning. This means that every dossier has to be read many times, which leads to an increase in workload for specialists, while the number of officers is limited,” a representative from MOH said.

MOH has taken solutions to accelerate the document examination pace. It has advised the government to promulgate Decree 07 to remove obstacles for those that import, export and trade medical equipment, and to extend validity of the licenses granted before until December 31, 2024.

Hieu said that DMEC committed to handling all the 7,000 dossiers before December 31, 2024.

Ha Anh Duc, chief secretariat of MOH said the department is intensively applying IT solutions to improve the efficiency.

Linh Trang