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U.S. investors keen on hospital projects

HCMC - U.S. investors have shown interest in hospital projects in HCMC but have found it hard to have adequate information to make well-informed investment decisions, heard a conference in the city on April 14.

Co-held by the U.S. Commercial Service and the HCMC Department of Health, the conference on global trend and hospital development was to share experience in applying the public-private partnership (PPP) format to attract private investment into the health sector.

According to the department, the city is finding local and foreign investors for a number of projects. They include Tan Kien hospital complex in Binh Chanh District; a children's hospital; an ear, nose and throat hospital; a blood transfusion and hematology hospital; and an oncology hospital. These projects require hefty finances.

Many HCMC-managed hospitals are also looking for finances to upgrade their facilities such as An Binh and Binh Dan hospitals and Children's Hospital No. 1. Hospitals under districts, wards and communes are in need of funding for rehabilitation as well. 

U.S. investors said at the conference that they are keen on hospital projects in the city and that medical equipment producers and information technology and consulting enterprises want to join hospital projects.

However, they are concerned about the transparency of tenders and asked if their financial benefits would be guaranteed or not.    

Nguyen Ngoc Duy, head of the integrated planning division at the HCMC Department of Health, said all information about tenders could be found on the website of the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the HCMC Department of Health, said the department would ensure transparency in tenders for hospital projects.

Regarding criteria for suppliers of equipment, Binh said big names in the sector, especially those providing maintenance systems, would be prioritized.

Binh noted the city wants to set up a center to train people to operate equipment and that hospitals must be equipped with modern machines and recruit skilled employees.

Patricia Williams, president and founder of Global Health Services Network LLC, said apart from investment in facilities and equipment under the PPP format, the city should attend to human resource training and management models to run hospitals more efficiently. 

Hoang Nhung


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