Thank you Viet Nam
To the Editor
We went to Viet Nam in July 2013 feeling embarrassed about our Australian nation's involvement in the American War but instantly on landing we experienced the internationally rare welcome and friendship of the Vietnamese people we were honoured to meet and speak to.
Now in love with one of the most beautiful and friendly countries we have visited (out of 64 countries) and then, one afternoon in a hotel in Ninh Binh my wife became very ill. A hotel girl rushed off and brought an off duty lady Doctor back to look at my wife.
Although the Doctor spoke no English she indicated that Hospital was necessary. She refused any fee unlike most western countries' doctors. The hotel took over and called a taxi and instructed the driver to consider this an emergency.
Arriving at the Binh Vien Da Khoa Tinh public hospital in Ninh Binh we faced a number of patients waiting to be seen by medical staff but a female Doctor looked at my wife and immediately took her to her office and then arranged for an ECG, an X-ray and then the crucial scanning of my wife's stomach which showed a serious life threatening blockage.
The Doctor phoned a surgeon at his home and it was late, he arrived and my wife went straight to the operating theatre and at near midnight she was operated on thus saving her life. This swift action would not have happened in Australia in either a public or private hospital.
How does one say thank you to the People's Socialist Government of Viet Nam, to those very professional medical Doctors in the hospital and to the wonderful moral boosting kindness I received from the hotel management and staff at the hotel, Khach San Kinh Do Ninh Binh (hope I got that correct).
It was in Ninh Binh that we experienced the real face of Viet Nam, the genuine comfort and helpfulness. I just wish that I had the finance to help give Ninh Binh a new ambulance needed as its population grows.
We also need to thank the French Hospital in Ha Noi and the Australian Embassy staff who worked tirelessly to have my wife shipped back to her Brisbane home.
Thankfully my wife is now on the road to full recovery and sadly we missed out on seeing the central coast of Viet Nam steeped in history and wondrous cuisine but after 53 years, I still have my wife!
Thank you Vietnam, may your Nation prosper and your people stay the same, helpful and friendly.
George David McVeagh