34 face charges in southern Vietnam health scandal

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Police in the southern province of Ca Mau have asked prosecutors to charge 34 people for attacking local doctors' houses in protest of their irresponsibility in the death of a 17-year-old girl in June, Tuoi Tre reported on October 26.

Le Thanh Son, chief of Nam Can District's police division, said in the newspaper that the people face charges of "disrupting public disorder," "deliberately damaging others' properties," and "acting against people who are on public mission."

According to police's findings, on June 28, Duong Thi Thu Huyen was brought to Nam Can District's General Hospital in a coma after falling from a motorbike ridden by 24-year-old Le Quoc Lo.

Huyen fell while trying to stop Lo, who attempted to rape her, police said.

After a checkup, doctors concluded Huyen was fine, but she died the next day from brain injury.

Later, Huyen's family together with locals took her body to the hospital, damaging the hospital and the houses of Tran Thien Thanh, director of the hospital, and Nguyen Duy Tu, who was on duty the day she was hospitalized.

In a report published on October 26, newswire Vietnamnet said the group's outrage was provoked by Nguyen Hoang Long, 35.

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During the attack on the doctors' houses, protestors also stole money and gold, causing damages worth more than VND400 million (US$19,120), the newswire reported.

Following the incident, Ca Mau province's Department of Health suspended Tu for one year. Two other doctors and two health workers received warnings.

According to Tuoi Tre, police also have asked provincial prosecutors to charge Lo with "statutory rape."

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