Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM — Patient care at Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital in central Quảng Nam Province has improved greatly.
The amount of people infected with tuberculosis (TB) has halved in the past twelve years.
And many people believe this is because of the hard work and dedication of director Dr Trần Ngọc Pháp who has improved all round quality at the medical centre.
Hailing from a family with a tradition of practicing herbal medicine, Pháp loves to heal people.
When he passed the entrance exam to Huế University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the selection of specialising in tuberculosis (TB) came to him by accident. Since then he brought all his enthusiasm to research prevention, treatment and disease control.
After graduating from university in 1981, Pháp worked at the Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Centre in the old Quảng Nam-Đà Nẵng province. Then in 1997 he was appointed as head of Quảng Nam Province’s Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Station.
At the time, the station had only nine doctors and nurses and had to use a room at Quảng Nam Province General Hospital as temporarily working office, he recalled.
Equipment was in short supply and outdated. There were also issues educating people about the dangers of TB due to the mountainous terrain of the region.
But Pháp and his staff overcame these hurdles and managed to treat hundreds of patients in the province.
Since the Quảng Nam Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital (now Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital in Quảng Nam) opened in 2004, under the leadership of Pháp, the hospital has made great progress.
The hospital was named after Phạm Ngọc Thạch, the founder and first director of the Việt Nam Tuberculosis Institute.
He was not only a great example of medical ethics, but he was also one of the first doctors to specilise in TB in Việt Nam.
"Dr. Phạm Ngọc Thạch is also a member of the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Tuberculosis Association. He has made great contributions setting up a specialised department for TB and lung disease,” Pháp said, adding that the name of the hospital reminded staff members to follow Thạch’s example.
Doctor Trần Ngọc Pháp consoles a patient who is undergoing treatment at Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital. — VNA/VNS Photo Đỗ Trưởng
As the head of the hospital, he also carried the same spirit, devoting all of his energy to find the best treatment for patients.
With capital from the State’s investment and exchanging for participating in international projects over the past, the hospital received modern equipment and technology. The improved infrastructure ensured a higher quality of care.
“Previously, patients with multi drug-resistant tuberculosis have to go to specialised hospitals in Hà Nội or HCM City for testing. But now Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital can perform these tests. Patients have only to wait two hours to know the results,” Pháp said.
The application of modern health facilities has helped reduce the treatment time, he said.
Patients suffering from tuberculosis saw treatment time drop dramatically, in some cause by almost a year.
Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Ánh, chairman of the provincial health sector’s Trade Union said because of the efforts from Pháp and other staff members, the number of TB-infected people in the province has declined remarkably.
In 2012, Government, granted him the title “Excellent Doctor” in recognition of his contribution.
Pháp received the Phạm Ngọc Thạch Prize in 2015 which honours prominent medical workers who have made remarkable achievement in their fields and made efforts to have practical initiative as well as actively volunteering in the community.
Although he was busy, Pháp, 59, still finds time to pursue his passion, music.
He sees it as an escape route away from the job he does. Not only is he the chairman of Quảng Nam Province’s classic guitar club, he is also self-taught.
And he believes listening to music not only helps him relax, but can also help the patients he treats. — VNS