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VietNamNews

Lack of inspectors lets clinics off hook

Update: July, 30/2014 - 09:15
"The country has about 300 health inspectors. On average, each province or city department of health has two to four, but this is inadequate compared with the amount of work." said Chinh.— Photo baodaidoanket

HA NOI (VNS) — Many private health clinics escape scrutiny because there are not enough inspectors - and their abilities are so varied, said Dang Van Chinh, chief inspector of the Ministry of Health.

The country has about 300 health inspectors. On average, each province or city department of health has two to four, but this is inadequate compared with the amount of work, said Chinh.

Managing more than 30,000 private health clinics and more than 35,000 pharmacies was only part of their work, he said.

Bui Minh Trang, chief inspector of the HCM City Department of Health, told the Nguoi lao dong (Labourer) newspaper that, at the present rate, it would take two years to check them all.

The department has nearly 50 inspectors, but just 18 are responsible for the city's 13,000 private-health clinics.

Chinh said that from now to the end of this year, the health ministry would inspect private health clinics and drugstores in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, HCM City and Can Tho.

Last year, more than 8,400 private health clinics were checked and nearly 1,600 of them received administrative fines worth a total of VND994 million (US$47,300). About 200 of the clinics were later suspended from operating.

This year, health inspectors discovered many violations at private health clinics.

On July 7, the Ha Noi Department of Health withdrew the work permit of an obstetrics and gynaecology clinic at No 189 Giai Phong Street in Hai Ba Trung District because it conducted tests without a licence.

A private clinic at No 12 Kim Ma Street in Ba Dinh District was discovered using machines of unclear origin. Two doctors at the clinic were also unregistered. — VNS

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