Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — When doctor Nguyễn Văn Chương, decided to retire, he wasn’t ready to put his feet up.
He could have decided to live the rest of his life relaxing after a lifetime of hard work, but no.
Instead he decided to create a rehabilitation and physical therapy clinic to help those in need.
In the small and old treatment room in Hà Nội’s Tây Hồ District, the doctor has found his joy and happiness by giving treatment for patients free of charge or at very low cost.
For the last 24 years, Đông Hồ Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Clinic has become the familiar address of poor people who get trouble with osteoarthritis.
The clinic is always full of patients exercising with machines, being treated with infrared light therapy, getting massages or acupuncture from morning to night.
Trần Thị Kim Ngân, patient from Bắc Từ Liêm District’s Phú Diễn Ward, said she suffered from painful swelling and stiffness in the arms. She has been treated in the clinic for five days and things are getting better.
“I can move my arms and the pain has eased,” Ngân said.
“Chương has given me treatment, and showed me exercises for my arms,” she said. “It would take me a lot of money to get treatment at hospitals.”
Đỗ Thị Hoài, patient from Tây Hồ District’s Bưởi Ward, said she has known about Chương and his clinic for a long time.
“The clinic is always open for all patients,” she said.
Chương is the only doctor at the clinic and is always busy. He shows them how to exercise with machines, gives massages for other patients.
Each patient will get two hours of physical therapy and rehabilitation instead of 45 minutes as usual to improve the recovery progress.
In the report the doctor sent to Hà Nội Oriental Medicine Association, nearly 2,000 patients have been treated in the past three years. Of that, about 11,500 patients have been supported to get treatment at very low cost.
Chương said he remembers the name and the health problems of each patient, especially complicated cases. Huy, a Hà Nội’s patient, suffered from hand paralysis for six years. Huy could not do simple tasks such as holding spoon and feeding himself.
Huy’s hand got much better after a time of treatment with Chương. He’s got married, and opened a bakery.
“This is among the best case that I’ve given treatment,” he said.
Chương graduated from the rehabilitation and physical therapy department of Hà Nội’s Medical University in 1959. During the years of working for Coal Company No 3 Hospital (now Bắc Thăng Long Hospital) and working as a heath expert in Laos, he got the chance to treat poor people in both countries.
When he retired in 1994, he decided to use the first floor of his small house as a clinic for people with disadvantages and difficulties. He was supported by his wife and children, who are also doctors.
Chương said his clinic closed only twice. The first time was ten days when his wife passed away, and the second time was three days when he was hospitalised. Chương said he was afraid that someone would have to travel from other provinces to the clinic, only to get back without being treated.
“I’ve tried to find the best method with cheapest cost for patients. I’m still healthy and I can do it,” he said. — VNS