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Eye hospital given mixed report

Update: October, 02/2013 - 14:00
The Ha Noi Eye Hospital had faults relating to personnel management, equipment and crystalline usage, but the violations were not serious as alleged in the letter which sparked investigations, according to a leader of the Ha Noi Committee of the Party.— File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) – The Ha Noi Eye Hospital had faults relating to personnel management, equipment and crystalline usage, but the violations were not serious as alleged in the letter which sparked investigations, according to a leader of the Ha Noi Committee of the Party.

In a meeting held by the committee's Dissemination and Education Board yesterday, the board's deputy head Phan Dang Long said that after receiving a denunciation letter from Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy and Nguyen Minh Chau - both doctors at the hospital - about its faults, the municipal Department of Health inspected the case and answered the letter.

A week ago Thuy and Chau wrote to the Ha Noi Department of Health, claiming patients who received crystalline lens surgery at the hospital under the Faco method were often advised to use the American IQ Alcon crystalline lens priced at VND6.5 million ($300) if they did not have health insurance.

Despite bills confirming the price of the lens, these crystalline lenses were often swapped for cheaper and lower quality HOYA and Focus brand lenses during the operation, the letter claimed.

Thuy said in 2011, the hospital conducted around 3,000 crystalline lens operations, with around 800 cases of fraudulent swapping.

The fluid used for the operations was also allegedly exchanged.

Deputy head Long said the type of crystalline lens used for surgery depended on the doctor's evaluation and the patient's condition. Doctors were free to use different kinds of crystalline lens as their was little differentiation in price.

The doctors should choose the lens best suited to the patient's condition and not exchange higher-quality crystalline lens for lower-quality ones to earn profit, he said.

Long added that the hospital had a fixed price of VND6.5 million (US$300) for each surgery. Inspections showed the hospital had faults and the letter had some justification but this was not a case of corruption.

However, Thuy and Chau were not satisfied with the answer and took their complaint to the municipal People's Committee. Inspectors from this body drew similar conclusions to that by the health department.

"The letter made both correct and incorrect points, but the incorrect points increased the seriousness of this case," said Long.

The committee asked the Ha Noi Department of Health's director to in future give more timely warnings of individuals' complaints.

It lamented the fact that, during the week since the petition began, the press did not receive any official declarations from the Ha Noi Department of Health or from the hospital on the case, meaning the press and public had been left in the dark.-- VNS

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