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Vietnam’s national psychiatry institute cries for help following mass arrest of leaders, doctors

Vietnam’s national psychiatry institute cries for help following mass arrest of leaders, doctors

Thursday, June 20, 2024, 18:30 GMT+7
Vietnam’s national psychiatry institute cries for help following mass arrest of leaders, doctors
The headquarters of the Bien Hoa National Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, which is in charge of psychiatric assessment in 10 localities in southern Vietnam. Photo: H.M. / Tuoi Tre

The Bien Hoa National Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam wrote to the Ministry of Health on Sunday last week, asking for help with staff as many leaders and doctors at the institute had been either arrested or summoned for investigation into psychiatric assessment for several offenders and violators.

Nguyen Van Duc, deputy head of the institute, said in a dispatch sent to the ministry that 13 executives and doctors, including two retirees, at the institution had been detained and summoned for the investigation by the Criminal Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

Police searched the residences of Le Van Hung, head of the institute, and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Cong, deputy head of the institute in charge of professional aspects.

Among the doctors involved in the probe are Nguyen Van Trong, head of the Department of Compulsory Therapy for Men 1, Ha Ngoc Khanh at the department, Nguyen Thi Huyen, head of the Department of Compulsory Therapy for Men 4, and Pham Van Thang, deputy head of the Department of Compulsory Therapy for Men 4.

Other detainees include Dr. Ly Thi Hoai Nam, head of the Department of Treatment on Request, Lam Thi Anh Hong from the Assessment Department, Dr. Nguyen Van Thanh, deputy head of the Department of Compulsory Therapy for Women, Dr. Dang Quoc Tuyen, head of the general planning department, and Dr. Truong Thi Xuan Uyen, deputy head of the Department of Compulsory Therapy for Men 2.

Dr. Le Van Hung, head of the Bien Hoa National Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, arrested for his involvement in psychiatric assessment for several violators. Photo: Supplied

Dr. Le Van Hung, head of the Bien Hoa National Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, was arrested for his involvement in psychiatric assessment for several violators. Photo: Supplied

Police officers also launched legal proceedings against Dr. Bui The Hung, former head of the institute, while summoning Dr. Nguyen Thanh Quang, former head of the general planning department and head of the Assessment Department.

“The institute is in a state of emergency over a shortage of workers,” said Duc.

Related to the alleged wrongdoings at the institute, the Criminal Police Department is expanding their investigation.

A preliminary probe showed that the above-mentioned individuals got involved in forensic psychiatric assessment for multiple patients, who committed crimes and violations.

Among them was Tran Thi My Hien, a 61-year-old resident of Ho Chi Minh City, who is former director of Royal Gold Land Service - Trading Company. 

Hien was arrested and charged for asset misappropriation at several firms in October 2019 by Ho Chi Minh City police.

During the investigation, her family submitted her psychiatric record showing that she was mentally ill. Therefore, police in Ho Chi Minh City asked a forensic psychiatric assessment center in the city under the institute to examine her.

The institute concluded that Hien lost the ability to perceive and control behavior.

Investigators also had the Central Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in Hanoi conduct an examination on her.

In September 2020, the central institute returned the same result as the Dong Nai-based institute.

As a result, police officers in Ho Chi Minh City sent Hien to the Bien Hoa Institute of Forensic Psychiatry for compulsory treatment.

However, she ran away from the institute in March this year.

She was recaptured and resent to the institute for continued treatment in May.

Local media reported that investigators concluded Hien's escape resulted from some officials at the institute failing to follow the required procedures for patients undergoing compulsory treatment.

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Tieu Bac - Ha Mi - A Loc / Tuoi Tre News

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