Last week, Viet Nam News asked readers for their opinions about Ha Noi's recent plan to install cameras in large hospitals to supervise their operations. Most of the readers supported the idea. Here are some of the responses:
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi
Feel free to complain about technology, but like death (in a hospital) and taxes, it's here to stay. There are good reasons to install cameras in Vietnamese hospitals.
I want to see that doctor disposing of his botched breast enhancement surgery victim. (To be fair, this occurred in a private clinic).
When I was a medical tourist shopping in Bangkok for eye laser surgery, I simultaneously watched a video recording of a Thai doctor, while observing through a window in the hallway. By the time I saved my money and worked up my courage, I wasn't concerned about being recorded.
It is never a bad idea to have more documentation and an additional layer of proof. Bribes can take place in the parking lot. Recordings might suddenly fail.
In addition to recording electronically, I desire a written log. Canadians have universal health care, but hours upon hours tick by in pain or boredom while patients are prioritised and triaged.
The US is presently in an ongoing fit, with high temperatures and higher tempers, trying to reform a medical website with access for all. ‘Obamacare' is practically a swear word.
Surely, Viet Nam is sensible enough to initiate an honest, accurate and electronically viable reform? I, for one, would like to know that if I happen to have a motorcycle accident and get dragged in unconscious, there will be some kind of independent, electronic eye watching over me.
Cecile Devos, Belgian, Ha Noi
I'm not sure if hospitals in Belgium have cameras installed, since I rarely go to hospitals, but I don't think it is camera surveillance that makes hospital operations better.
The most important thing here is doctors' professional ethics. To best prevent the problem of bribery in hospitals, doctors and medical staff should be offered the payment they deserve, and be heavily punished when trying to ask for money.
Hospitals in Viet Nam, in particular, are always busy and crowded with patients, so I doubt that people will have time to check the videos. Yet, if someone is assigned to check the videos to supervise whether their hospital is operating smoothly on a regular basis (daily, weekly, for example), then that seems fine.
Sandra Kendrick, American, HCM City
I totally support the idea of camera installations in hospitals, especially after reading so many recent media reports about prevalent bribery and medical treatment failures.
I, personally, find it hard to accept that some doctors even take money from poor patients, who are forced to bribe the doctor to feel "safer" about the treatment they receive, despite their own financial difficulties.
Some might say camera use makes doctors distracted, but I think if the medical staff is doing their job properly, they won't be afraid of any camera.
While the idea is good, I could easily imagine the controversy of where the camera should be placed and who will have the authority to view the video.
Since the authorities are going to do it anyway, I hope they have already thought through all the problems that might occur with camera use.
Among the problems are, possibly, the costs, the staff assigned to watch the CCTV and the feedback of doctors towards the idea. To make a good idea work, careful considerations and plans are important.
Ana Mendez, Brazilian, Da Nang
With so many problems reported in the media recently about the health sector, I think camera installation may help.
Yet, the point here is to ensure privacy for all the people involved, including doctors, medical staff, the patients and their families.
If that issue cannot be properly dealt with, then problems might arise with the camera use (patients suing hospitals, for example). — VNS