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Hanoi public hospital’s executives arrested for price gouging of medical equipment

Saturday, September 26, 2020, 11:29 GMT+7
Hanoi public hospital’s executives arrested for price gouging of medical equipment
This collage of photos from the website of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi shows its former director Nguyen Quoc Anh (right) and former deputy director Nguyen Ngoc Hien.

The Ministry of Public Security on Friday arrested and started legal proceedings against Nguyen Quoc Anh, former director of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, and two of his subordinates at the infirmary for “abuse of position and authority” in the alleged price gouging of medical equipment.

The two subordinates are Nguyen Ngoc Hien, former vice director of Bach Mai Hospital, and Trinh Thi Thuan, former chief accountant at the infirmary.

Officers also inspected Anh and Hien’s residence on Friday evening.

While the two men were in office, Bach Mai Hospital purchased a robotic system from BMS Medical Technology Joint Stock Company.

The arrested inflated the purchase price of the system to VND39 billion (US$1.7 million) from its market price of VND7.4 billion ($319,000).

Consequently, patients had to pay VND23 million ($990) per instance of the machine's use while the rate should have been VND4 million ($172) only.

It is estimated that the arrested appropriated VND10 billion ($430,800) from patients via more than 500 cases of the system's use from 2017 to 2019.

Previously, the Ministry of Public Security also arrested and began legal proceedings against Pham Duc Tuan, chairman and director of BMS, Ngo Thi Thu Huyen, BMS deputy director, and Tran Le Hoang, an appraiser of VFS JSC — which had been hired by Bach Mai Hospital to appraise the robotic system, for their involvement in the case with the charge of “fraud and appropriation of property.”

Hoang is now under home arrest.

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