Joining hands for kids’ hearts

Update: 08:59 | 07/10/2020

(BGO) - For many years, the Bac Giang Fund for the Children has coordinated with the Bac Giang Women’s and Children’s Hospital to implement a programme supporting poor and near-poor children with congenital heart defects to undergo early surgery.

Doctor Nguyen Minh Cuong, head of the hospital’s Department of On-demand Medical Services, still remembers a 4-hour surgery for child patient Nguyen Gia Binh in Tan Dinh commune (Lang Giang district) in May 2020.

Joining hands, kids’ hearts, Bac Giang province, congenital heart defects, early surgery, normal child, surgery costs, social policy beneficiaries

Doctors at the Bac Giang Women’s and Children’s Hospital perform congenital heart surgery for a child.

Born prematurely at the 7th month of pregnancy, Binh had a congenital heart disease. At the age of three, Binh could not walk on his own and needed help. Due to difficult circumstances, the child lived with his grandmother Pham Thi Voc (52 years old). Surgery and treatment costs were expensive, so Voc used to borrow money to take her grandchild for medical treatment in many places. Now, Gia Binh has been discharged from the hospital, and is able to walk as a normal child.

Previously, doctor Cuong and his colleagues performed many surgeries for congenital heart defects such as ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, and patent ductus arteriosus for children in the province. Nguyen Duc Dung (born in 2017) in Dan 2 village, Huu San commune (Son Dong district) is an example. 

When he was born, he had difficulty breathing, with pale lips. Dung was determined by doctors at the Bac Giang Women’s and Children’s Hospital to have ventricular septal defect. During the re-examination in October 2018, Ly Thi Nhu - Dung's mother was instructed by the staff of the provincial Fund for Children to prepare documents and conduct procedures to have all surgery costs covered by the fund.


In the past, most cases with congenital heart disease were transferred to central level hospitals. Now, thanks to the efforts of the doctors and nurses of the Bac Giang Women’s and Children’s Hospital in applying advanced and specialized techniques in treatment, child patients have had surgery right in the province. As a result, the burden of treatment costs and travel time for poor and near-poor households or social policy beneficiaries in the province eased significantly.

In order to promptly support families with children having congenital heart disease, since 2016, the provincial Fund for Children has been assigned by the provincial People’s Committee with the responsibility of managing, coordinating and using the funding for medical examination and surgery for these cases.

To ensure the money is used effectively, the fund collaborated with the Bac Giang Women’s and Children’s Hospital to regularly organize screenings for congenital heart defects for children. Immediately after receiving a child patient, the hospital and the fund directly send staff to guide the family to provide information and complete the dossier for timely support.

Each year, from 10 to 15 children receive support for congenital heart surgery, costing from 15 to 50 million VND (646-2,156 USD) per case, depending on each specific case. In addition, families with children having congenital heart disease also get support for accommodation and transportation (50,000 VND for meal per person; 160,000 to 240,000 VND for transportation per person during treatment in the province).

Since 2016, the Bac Giang Women’s and Children’s Hospital has performed 210 congenital heart defect operations for children in the province. Of them, 189 cases coming from poor and near-poor households, and other social policy beneficiaries, were supported with surgery costs according to Decision 208/2016/QD-UBND of the provincial People's Committee.

According to doctor Le Cong Tuoc, Director of the Bac Giang Women’s and Children’s Hospital, implementing the Satellite Hospital Project since 2016, the hospital is the first provincial level unit nationwide to be successfully transferred techniques to perform surgery on such congenital heart defects as ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, and partial atrioventricular septal defect.

To perform the above-said congenital heart defect surgeries, the hospital has sent two doctors for training at the National Children's Hospital. At the same time, the provincial People's Committee equipped the hospital with a system of modern operating rooms, equipment and machines worth about 20 billion VND (862,750 USD).

In the coming time, it will perform screenings for congenital heart defects for all babies born in the hospital, as well as some difficult techniques in congenital heart defect surgery.

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Tuyet Mai

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