|Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến on Monday urged inspectors from the central to grassroots levels to ensure that fines are handed out for violations of healthcare service regulations. — Photo thanhtra.vn|
HCM CITY — Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến on Monday urged inspectors from the central to grassroots levels to ensure that fines are handed out for violations of healthcare service regulations.
The total amount of fines last year was only VNĐ7 billion (US$307,000), she said, adding that inspectors had often neglected their duty to fine violators.
As a result, suppliers for schools and company canteens continued to violate food safety and hygiene regulations.
Many private clinics that offer health exams and treatment were fined four or five times, but continued to ignore regulations, Tiến said.
Violations also occurred in the bidding process for drug and medical equipment.
Tiến has instructed central government inspectors to work more closely with local inspectors to ensure that inspections are routinely made and fines handed out.
This year, inspections will focus on the price of health exams and treatments as they relate to patients’ requirements, as well as the bidding processes for drug and medical equipment, according to the Ministry of Health’s Inspectorate.
Inspections of bids for drugs and equipment will be made at the HCM City-based National Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology, the National Eye Hospital, Uông Bí Việt Nam-Sweden Hospital and E Hospital in Hà Nội.
Last year, five teams of inspectors inspected Huế Central General Hospital and HCM City-based Thống Nhất Hospital.
This year, inspections of health clinics offering vaccine services in Hà Nội and Quảng Bình Province will be conducted. Other inspections will include purchase of medical equipment and drug trading.
Last year, inspections at health care facilities in the four provinces of Hòa Bình, Nam Định, Bình Thuận and Bạc Liêu were conducted to discover whether medical staff were abusing patients’ health insurance coverage by overcharging or prescribing too many tests and medicine.
In addition, 45 teams of inspectors last year checked cosmetics and drug manufacturers after they received operating licences in Hà Nội, HCM City and the provinces of An Giang and Tiền Giang.
As many as 100 of those establishments were fined, according to Dr Vũ Sỹ Vân, deputy head of the Ministry of Health’s inspectorate.
Last year, the Việt Nam Food Administration worked with other agencies to organise 19 teams of inspectors to check food safety and hygiene before, during and after Lunar New Year, in mid-autumn and at other times in 39 provinces and cities.
Eighty-nine establishments were found to be in violation of regulations, Vân said. —VNS