|A testing strip is cut in half. — Photo from VTV24's report.|
HÀ NỘI — Three medical workers of Saint Paul General Hospital in Hà Nội have been suspended, accused of tampering with HIV and Hepatitis B testing kits.
Dr Chu Thị Loan, deputy head of Microbiology Department, and two other technicians are being investigated.
It follows a report by VTV24 on Monday revealing the medical workers failed to follow HIV and Hepatitis B testing process, leading to possibly false testing result.
The medical workers of the Microbiology Department used HIV and Hepatitis B testing kits manufactured in Japan. After removing the package, they cut the testing strips in half. The cutting line is on the testing chemical line.
The blood sample is then dropped on the strip. Four hours later, testers know the results.
Patients still have to cover full payment of the testing service without knowing that only half of the medical supplies are used.
According to medical experts, this action could lead to false results.
By cutting the testing strips in half, the medical workers have one extra piece of strip after testing two patients.
Each quick HIV test kit which consists of 100 testing strips costs VNĐ3 million (US$130).
Director of the city Department of Health Nguyễn Khắc Hiền said the department has ordered Saint Paul Hospital to clarify the number of extra testing strips and where they are supplied to.
According to Trần Thị Nhị Hà, deputy director of the health department, the hospital representatives explained the testing strips cut in half were for trial use purpose only. The trial testing results were not given to patients.
However, the health department has not accepted the explanation and asked for further clarification and strict punishment, she told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
The health department has also asked the hospital to review their management responsibilities in this case.
According to World Health Organisation, the accuracy of quick HIV tests may be affected by factors including whether technicians follow testing process or not.
Saint Paul is one of four major hospitals of the capital city with 600 beds and more than 1,000 medical workers.
About 600,000 patients have their health check up there every year. The number of inpatients reaches 45,000 people per year. — VNS