Hanoi’s Viet Duc Hospital, one of Vietnam’s leading medical facilities, has suspended a surgeon and his team for mistakenly operating on a patient’s right leg instead of his left Tuesday.
The family of the 37-year-old patient, Tran Van Thao, said he had been diagnosed with the paralysis of a nerve in the left leg, which caused him to walk unsteadily.
They paid VND5.5 million (US$250) for the surgery, but were later asked to pay again after the surgeon found out he had cut open the wrong leg.
Tran Binh Giang, deputy director of the hospital, said the whole surgery team was at fault.
A photo supplied by a patient's relative shows Tran Van Thao, 37, at Viet Duc Hospital after the surgeries on July 19, 2016
The hospital is reviewing the surgery to identify more people directly responsible, he said.
A hospital spokesperson admitted the mistake would affect the functions of the patient’s right leg.
The hospital has decided it would not charge for the surgery and would continue to provide free treatment for the patient.
Surgical negligence is not rare in Vietnam and a number of such incidents have been reported in recent times, some even involving unnecessary amputations.
But this is the first time such a mistake has occurred at an established public hospital, possibly one of the top five in the country.