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Illicit medicine found in large quantities at Chinese clinic

Illicit medicine found in large quantities at Chinese clinic

Friday, August 24, 2012, 12:58 GMT+7

An inspection team including health inspectors and police in Quang Ngai Province has discovered a Chinese clinic storing about 1,000 jars of Chinese-origin medicine that have yet to be approved for use in Vietnam.

>>11 Chinese “doctors” work without permit in HCMC >> Chinese “doctors” in death case banned from leaving VN >> Woman dies at Chinese clinic, doctors disappear>> Suspended Chinese clinic causes further harm>> Infringing clinic inspected, Chinese “doctors” flee During yesterday’s inspection of the Vuong Phat Traditional Medicine Clinic at 292 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Quang Ngai City, the team discovered jars that contained thousands of oriental traditional medicine tablets of 22 different kinds that have not been licensed by the Health Ministry. Nguyen Tai Hung, the clinic’s owner, told the team that the medicine had been brought from China into Vietnam to sell to patients suffering from different diseases, mainly rheumatism, mental disorders, insomnia, and anorexia. “The medicines are labeled in Chinese and I must use a translator to tell me what they are, but I still only understand them to some extent,” Hung said. The team seized all of the illegal medicine and fined the clinic VND17.5 million (US$840), said Nguyen Thai Son, chief inspector of the provincial Health Department. The clinic is registered in the name of Long Ju, a Chinese national, and was licensed to operate for five years by the provincial Health Department on August 26, 2008. As shown on the license, Ju takes part in the examination and treatment of patients at the clinic.

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Inspectors examine illicit medicine at the Vuong Phat Traditional Medicine Clinic (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

Concerned agencies have inspected the clinic three times since May, but Ju was not present during any of these visits, Son said. Therefore, the local Health Inspectorate has proposed that the department revoke Ju’s practitioner’s license, Son added. As previously reported, many Chinese clinics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been found committing a series of violations, such as selling expired or unapproved medicine, offering unlicensed services, employing doctors without practitioners’ licenses, issuing incorrect diagnoses, and overcharging patients. In a deadly case at one such clinic, a 34-year-old woman, Nguyen Thi Thu Phong, died at the Maria Clinic in Hanoi on July 14, and the three Chinese doctors who had examined and treated her disappeared after the incident. The local Health Department has suspended the clinic. In HCMC, health authorities have revoked the business licenses of several Chinese clinics for their prolonged violations.

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