Defendants at the appeal trial on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Hà
HÒA BÌNH — The People’s Court of Hòa Bình City on Wednesday announced it has reduced the jail term given to five defendants involved in the fatal medical incident that killed nine patients at the Hòa Bình General Hospital two years ago.
Hoàng Công Lương, 33, a former doctor at the Hòa Bình General Hospital, had his sentenced reduced to 30 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
Trần Văn Thắng, 54, staff at the hospital’s medical material and equipment division, and two managers of the hospital Hoàng Đình Khiếu, 57, and Trương Quý Dương, 57, saw their sentences reduced to 30 months for lacking responsibility and causing serious consequences.
Đỗ Anh Tuấn, 43, director of the Thiên Sơn Pharmacy JSC, was given 24 month suspended sentence for the same charge.
Among the defendants, Dương, former director of the Hòa Bình General Hospital, had his appeal rejected, maintaining the original sentence.
Hòa Bình General Hospital and Thiên Sơn JSC were ordered to pay more than VNĐ1.6 billion (US$68,800) and VNĐ700 million ($30,100) to the victims’ families respectively.
At the first trial, the People’s Court of Hòa Bình City handed down sentences to the seven defendants after the medical incident on May 29, 2017.
Lương was sentenced to 42 months on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Thắng and Khiếu were sentenced 36 months in jail, Dương 30 months and Tuấn 30 months for lacking responsibility, causing serious consequences.
The five defendants appealed against the verdict, asking to have suspended sentences.
Defendants Bùi Mạnh Quốc, director of the Trâm Anh Water Treatment Company, and Trần Văn Sơn, who worked at the hospital’s medical material and equipment division, were given 42 months.
Speaking at the appeal hearing, the court heard Lương was from an ethnic minority whose family devoted their services to the revolution, had good character and was a professional doctor at the hospital.
When the incident happened, Lương admitted his negligence and tried to treat the patients after the error.
The court said Thắng failed to take his responsibility in advising the hospital’s managers to issue regulations on the management and use of medical devices, including the reverse osmosis filter system.
Thắng as well as Khiếu, had good character and had done well in their professional careers.
The court noted the jail term of 30 months for Tuấn, who was responsible for cleaning the water filter system for the hospital's dialysis machines, was too strict.
The defendant had his sentence suspended by the appeal court.
Dương, as a leader of the hospital, had neglected his tasks which led to serious violations. The court kept the sentence unchanged.
On May 29, 2017, 18 kidney patients experienced symptoms such as anaphylactic shock, breathing difficulties, sudden drops in blood pressure, stomach aches and vomiting while receiving kidney dialysis at the dialysis division at Hòa Bình General Hospital’s Department of Intensive Care.
Nine patients died.
According to authorities, tainted water for kidney dialysis and poorly operated equipment were the causes of the incident.
On April 20, Lương sent a letter to Party, State and Government leaders expressing his hope that the case would be judged in an open and fair manner. — VNS