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Saigon mental health hospital in state of serious disrepair

Thursday, December 10, 2020, 14:35 GMT+7
Saigon mental health hospital in state of serious disrepair
Huynh Thi Be, 70, walks along a degraded corridor in the Le Minh Xuan Mental Health Hospital on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The campus of a mental health hospital in Ho Chi Minh City is falling apart, posing serious dangers to both patients and visitors.

Regular visitors to the Le Minh Xuan Mental Health Hospital on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District have become accustomed to the loose flooring tiles and sinking corridors riddling the main building and outpatient departments.

Though hospital administrators have tried cement over the cracked walls and tiles, each new repair seems to hold things together for no more than a few short weeks.

In front of the hospital’s pharmacy and cashier area, rows of chairs sit on uneven ground while the corridors nearby are flanked by walls that appear to be on the verge of toppling over. 

The situation has gotten so bad that administrators have posted signs around the hospital reading, “Danger! Watch out!'

Tiles are loose in a corridor at the Ho Chi Minh Mental Health Hospital’s branch on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Tiles are loose along a corridor at the Le Minh Xuan Mental Health Hospital on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Huynh Thi Be, a 70-year-old woman with two children at the hospital, the current situation has been ongoing for the past three years.

“Even people without physical or mental health issues find it difficult to walk [along those bumpy corridors]. Imagine what it’s like for me, an old and weak woman,” she complained.

The concern has spread beyond patients and their families, with doctors at the hospital highly worried about the situation and calling on local authorities to invest in upgrades to the facility.

The hospital leaders declined to comment on the issue.

New and old tiles are peeling off at a building’s corridor in the Ho Chi Minh Mental Health Hospital’s branch on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

New and old tiles are peeling off at a building’s corridor in the Le Minh Xuan Mental Health Hospital on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

The hospital was constructed using state funds and has been in operation for over 20 years.

According to a hospital quality survey carried out by the municipal Department of Health last year, this mental hospital ranked 75th out of 110 evaluated hospitals, scoring 3.14 out of five points.

A large crack spreads on a balcony at the Ho Chi Minh Mental Health Hospital’s branch on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

A large crack spreads on a balcony at the Le Minh Xuan Mental Health Hospital on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

The ground is subsided in a room at the Ho Chi Minh Mental Health Hospital’s branch on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

The ground subsides in a room at the Le Minh Xuan Mental Health Hospital on Le Minh Xuan Street in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

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