Bạch Mai Hospital’s former head applies for internship at another hospital after being released from prison

July 10, 2024 - 15:41
Sources told local media that after receiving the application, the hospital facilitated Tuấn’s internship in accordance with regulations.
Professor Nguyễn Quang Tuấn. —VNA/VNS Photo Tất Sơn

HÀ NỘI — Professor Nguyễn Quang Tuấn, 57, former director of Bạch Mai Hospital and Hà Nội Heart Hospital, who went to prison on charge of corruption in medical bidding, is working as an intern at Hà Nội-based Hữu Nghị Hospital to obtain a new professional certification.

Sources told local media that after receiving the application, the hospital facilitated Tuấn’s internship in accordance with regulations.

The sources also said that Tuấn must start from scratch like a fresh medical graduate to qualify for professional certification.

Tuấn started his internship on July 1.

As per regulations, Tuấn will need to intern for 12 months. After completing the internship period, Tuấn can proceed with applying for a new professional certification. Once he gets that he can resume medical practice and prescription-writing, the sources said.

Tuấn is reportedly working in the internal medicine department of the hospital.

Regulations stipulate that doctors must intern for nine months in internal medicine departments and three months in the intensive care.

Previously, Tuấn was sentenced to three years in prison (including the detention period) for 'violating regulations on bidding, causing serious consequences' on April 2023 by the People’s Court of Hà Nội.

In 2012, Tuấn was appointed as Director of Hà Nội Heart Hospital.

The indictment stated that since 2015, Tuấn allowed two companies -- Hoàng Nga Medical Equipment JSC and Kim Hòa Phát Biotechnology JSC -- to send medical supplies to be used in advance by the hospital.

After extensive bidding procedures were legitimately completed, shortened bidding route was designated and Tuấn approved the decision for these two companies to win the contract for extensive packages in 2016 and four designated packages in 2017.

Tuấn and other 11 defendants of the case abused their positions to illegally intervene in bidding activities, the court decided.

They carried out many violations from the bidding dossier, unit price, type, quantity of stents and other medical supplies.

The defendants at the hospital colluded with the defendants at AIC – Việt Nam Valuation and Investment JSC, to issue appraisal certificates at the request and a fixed price of the hospital, which Tuấn approved.

This ensured that the two companies won the bids and sold medical equipment in violation of the Procurement Law, causing more than VNĐ53.6 billion ($2.2 million) in damages to the hospital and the Social Insurance Fund across all five bidding packages.

The court pointed out that it was a very serious case, infringing on the State's economic management order in the bidding for the procurement of medical equipment and supplies, affecting the reputation of the health sector and the hospital, causing insecurity among the people and going against the current fight against corruption.

Tuấn, who held the highest position at the Hà Nội Heart Hospital, had to bear the highest responsibility for the violations.

But the court also determined that Tuấn committed the crime while the health sector faced many difficulties and the procurement of medical supplies could not be met in time due to shortcomings of legal regulations.

The court also took notice of the fact that Tuấn was a leading physician with professional qualifications in the field of cardiology and was highly regarded by both domestic and international experts.

The court heard that during his work, he was awarded many noble medals, trained generations of doctors and saved many lives.

During the investigation and at the trial, Tuấn was sincere, repentant and attempted to remediate the consequences. He already returned $10,000 that he received from Hoàng Nga Medical Equipment JSC and VNĐ6 billion ($256,000).

These were believed to be extenuating circumstances to mitigate the sentence for him, the court said.

Tuấn is not prohibited from assuming positions or practising his profession, he can resume practising immediately upon receiving his certification.

In 2018, Tuấn was recognised by the State Council for Professor of Việt Nam for achieving the standard of Professor in Medicine in 2017 and was awarded the highest prize in the 'Vietnamese Talent Awards' in the medical field for the topic 'Intervention of coronary artery stenosis via stent placement'.

In March 2020, Tuấn was appointed director of Bạch Mai Hospital.

At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic was ongoing and the images of doctors from Bạch Mai Hospital appeared in almost every region supporting pandemic prevention efforts.—VNS