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Health officials investigate mysterious death at private health clinic

Update: July, 19/2012 - 12:11

HA NOI – Officials from the Health Ministry and Ha Noi's Health Department yesterday launched an investigation into a private medical clinic after the mysterious death of a local woman.

Nguyen Thi Thu Phong, 35, was reported to die from unknown causes at the Dong Da District-based Maria Polyclinic after a health check last Saturday. Three Chinese doctors who were working at the clinic illegally and who gave Phong treatment, have since fled. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Nguyen Khac Hien, director of the health department, said authorities would not take action against the clinic until the investigation was completed.

"So, the question of how long will the polyclinic will be suspended from its operations, or will it have its operating licence revoked, will be decided when the investigation is concluded," Hien said.

Responding to criticism that authorities are not doing their job in investigating and punishing violations at the clinic, Hien said authorised agencies were not protecting the health clinic and all violations have been dealt with according to the law.

However, Hien said it is difficult to catch and fine foreign health practitioners who work without work permits at local clinics. He blamed heads of clinics for allowing foreign doctors to work illegally.

To bring the situation under control, the local health department has planned to conduct random inspections at private clinics in the city, he said. – VNS

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