HA NOI — The Ministry of Health's Inspection Department has asked provincial and municipal health departments to strengthen inspections and management of health clinics run by foreign nationals.
The move follows mass media reports of numerous health and safety violations at clinics operated by non-Vietnamese.
Deputy director of the ministry's Traditional Medicine Department Nguyen Hoang Son said he would strictly handle any violations.
Officials plan to focus their inspections on the legality of the clinics, the professional qualifications of foreign medical staff, treatment standards, pricing and the way services are advertised.
Provinces and cities have also been asked to report on the number of health clinics – particularly those practising traditional medicine – in their locality and to send the results to the health ministry by July 4.
HCM City Health Department recently fined a Chinese clinic in Phu Nhuan District, HCM City, for numerous violations, such as treatment beyond permitted professional skills and the use of unregistered medicines.
An unscheduled inspection of the Chinese-owned Dam Sen Clinic in HCM City's District 11 last week also found all medical equipment marked "temporarily out of order", according to the department.
All the doctors and nurses at the facility are reported to have fled as inspectors arrived, suggesting corrupt officials in the health department were colluding with the clinic owners.
Health ministry statistics show a total of 67 foreign medical doctors were licensed to work in 17 provinces and cities in Viet Nam at the end of last year. Sixty three were Chinese and the rest were French and Korean. — VNS