Ho Chi Minh City health inspectors check unregistered medicine at a clinic that employs unlicensed Chinese as doctors Friday. Photo by Vien An
Ho Chi Minh City police and health inspectors last Friday busted a clinic where seven Chinese were practicing as doctors without work permits or professional papers, and advertising unregistered services.
Two patients were being examined at Asia General Clinic on Vo Van Kiet Street in District 5 while another was receiving a fluid transfusion during the inspectors' visit.
The inspection was part of frequent checks for fraudulent Chinese practitioners that have occurred since several major cases came to light in HCMC and Hanoi July last year.
The inspectors managed to stop two Chinese who tried to flee upstairs after dropping their white coats as the inspectors questioned them.
Police had to be summoned later to break into a locked room where five other Chinese were hiding.
An unidentified Vietnamese representative of the clinic had refused to open the room for the inspectors, saying it was a private residence of the owners of the building.
The representative failed to produce the work permits or professional certificates of the Chinese.
The clinic's drug store was not licensed, and many kinds of medicine as well as equipment were labeled totally in Chinese instead of carrying extra Vietnamese descriptions as required.
It did not list treatment prices or establish patients' medical records, said the inspectors who seized and sealed unregistered medicine from the clinic as well.
The clinic was registered under the name of Vietnamese doctor Hoang Dinh Quan to work as a general treatment facility, but its signboard and leaflets advertised gynecological services such as abortion, hymen repair, genital or sexual health treatment.
Pham Kim Binh, deputy chief inspector of the city Health Department, said the clinic has been ordered to remove all the ads and stop the unlicensed Chinese from working as doctors.
Hanoi police in July last year proposed criminal charges against Maria clinic and its three unlicensed Chinese doctors after forensic tests found an infusion they gave had caused the death of a woman. The woman went there for a check up after suffering from fatigue.
But Maria was the only clinic officially suspended while many others employing illegal Chinese doctors only received warnings that their licenses could be revoked.
Chinese clinics in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been operating more steathily after the Maria incident.
They have stopped advertising Chinese doctors, and often deny their presence on phone calls.
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