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Private health clinics flout regulations

Update: December, 09/2013 - 09:25

HA NOI (VNS) — Operating without licenses and employing doctors without professional practice permissions are among violations committed at private clinics in Ha Noi, reported the municipal Health Department.

The department's just concluded inspections, which began on November 5, discovered violations at nine out of 28 private clinics in the city.

The clinics were also found to have infringed on health service advertisements and price regulations.

Inspectors fined three clinics more than VND100 million (US$5,000). Fines for the remaining clinics will be decided later this week, according to the department.

The inspections were made following scandals which stirred public concern. A doctor from Ha Noi-based Bach Mai hospital allegedly threw the body of a woman into a river after she died at his clinic following a cosmetic surgery operation in late October this year.

Two weeks ago, a 16-month-old baby died after receiving injections for pneumonia at an unlicensed private clinic in Thuong Tin District.

Head of the department's private health clinic operation management office Tran Thi Nhi Ha told Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) Newspaper that the violations call for stricter management from local authorities of areas where these clinics are located, as a result of a shortage of inspectors.

The city currently has 14 health inspectors who are in charge of inspecting more than 2,300 private medical clinics and 2,800 other establishments providing pharmaceutical services.

Management responsibility should be defined for specific individuals who would be strictly punished if their actions result in threatening public safety, she added.

The department's director, Nguyen Khac Hien, added that it was essential to tighten restrictions for management of private health clinics, but the task can be completed with the participation of the public.

Citizens should take part in supervising operations of private clinics by checking their operating licenses and informing authorities when discovering any violations at private clinics, he said.

Under recent notices issued by the department, unlicensed private clinics will be shut down beginning next year. — VNS

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