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Unlicensed Chinese

Unlicensed Chinese "doctors" found in HCMC

Thursday, May 09, 2013, 17:26 GMT+7

Health inspectors and police in Ho Chi Minh City caught a private general clinic employing seven Chinese health workers including “doctors” without a practitioner’s license – a practice that has existed in many clinics in the city for years. The discovery was made during a raid on Hiep Hoa General Clinic on Truong Son Street in Tan Binh District, which is owned by the Hiep Hoa Healthcare One-Member Company Limited, on Wednesday morning. In the examination room on the first floor of the clinic, inspectors found Chinese nationals wearing doctors’ blouses and examining patients. There were no interpreters in the room and only one of the eight Chinese “doctors” and health workers had a practitioner’s license. Moreover, the clinic was caught offering unlicensed services to patients, such as surgical treatment for hemorrhoids and circumcisions. The inspectors requested that the clinic suspend operation pending further examination by concerned agencies. The clinic must submit to the Health Department identification and qualification papers of the Chinese health workers they employ, inspectors said. Police will investigate further to determine whether the Chinese workers have obtained work permits from the local Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, and clarify issues related to their entering and staying in Vietnam. This clinic was licensed on January 15, 2013 by the Health Ministry. According to the license, the person in charge of medical issues of the clinic is Dr. Ton Thanh Minh. As previously reported, health inspectors in July last year carried out inspections at seven Chinese clinics and found that at three of these facilities 11 Chinese nationals, called “doctors” by their clinics, had not been licensed to practice. Also in July 2012, the HCMC Health Department revoked the business licenses of five other Chinese clinics for violations of examination and treatment regulations, such as offering and advertising unlicensed services, employing doctors without practitioners’ licenses, and selling unapproved medicine. Last month, the Hanoi Health Department fined Thanh Tri General Clinic US$1,800 for employing a Chinese doctor who practiced without a practitioner’s license.

Inspectors also found the clinic offering and advertising unlicensed services, as shown on its signboard and leaflets.

Last year several Chinese clinics in Hanoi were suspended or had their licenses revoked for employing workers without practitioners’ certificates, using unapproved medical technical services, overcharging patients, and offering other services beyond the scope of their license, inspectors said.

On July 14 last year, a 34-year-old woman died at the Maria Clinic in Hanoi, and the Chinese doctors who treated her disappeared after the incident. The victim was Nguyen Thi Thu Phong, 35, of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District.

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