HA NOI — The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has instructed cities and provinces to re-examine and monitor foreigners working in Viet Nam.
In a document sent to local authorities, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa asked People's Committees to focus on foreign employees who were working as doctors and pharmacists in health clinics, and those involved in farming and aquaculture in coastal border areas.
Hoa also asked local authorities to look at the demand for foreign workers from Vietnamese employers, NGOs and foreign partners, and their management of them.
Local authorities were asked to complete inspections and report back to the ministry by September 30.
Bui Thi Thuy Quynh, Chief Administrator of the ministry's Employment Department, said that the move would strengthen the management of foreign workers in Viet Nam, especially after recent scandals involving unlicensed labourers.
Last month, a female patient died after she was treated by an unlicensed foreign doctor at the Maria Clinic on Ha Noi's Thai Thinh Street. The doctors disappeared following the fatality.
A comprehensive inspection was subsequently implemented across the city, and Chinese medicine clinics at 981 and 455 Giai Phong Street, 604 Truong Chinh Street and 59 Khuong Trung Street were found to have unlicensed Chinese doctors working for them. They also had unapproved medicine on sale and were violating medical practices and treatment regulations.
The clinics were fined between VND15-40.5 million (US$720-1,944) and had their business licences revoked, depending on the severity of their violations.
In 2011, there were 13 foreign-invested clinics with 17 Chinese doctors operating in Ha Noi, according to the municipal Department of Health.
According to the ministry's Employment Department, more than 31,000 foreigners were working illegally in Viet Nam, mostly from Asian countries.
These people had remained in the country after their visas expired. — VNS