Chinese doctors prohibited from leaving Vietnam over patient death

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Hanoi police have prohibited four Chinese doctors involved in the death of a Vietnamese patient at a Chinese-owned medical clinic from leaving Vietnam.

Police are searching for Zhou Ji Anjao, Deng Qin Zhi and Zhang Ling Gong three doctors who treated 35-year-old Nguyen Thi Thu Phong and Dong Chang Rui, chief of the Gynecology-Family Planning Ward at the Maria general clinic on Thai Thinh Street in Dong Da District.

The four fled the scene Sunday morning after Phong was found dead in her room under suspicious circumstances.

According to initial investigations, Phong came to the clinic on Saturday afternoon for  a general health checkup after she felt tired on her way home from work.

Zhou Ji Anjao examined her and said she had an inflamed cervix. The doctor wrote on her medical record that she needed galvanocautery treatment.

At around 7:25 p.m., Phong was taken to a room on the sixth floor where Bui Thi Tham, a 23-year-old Vietnamese nurse, conducted a sugar infusion at Deng Qin Zhi's order.

Zhang Ling Gong then anesthetized the patient before Deng Qin Zhi performed a galvanocautery procedure (cautery by means of a needle or knife made hot by galvanic current).

After the process was finished, Phong's nose was stuffed up. Zhang Ling Gong put her on a breathing machine and instructed Tham to give her two injections of a drug reportedly called Dexamethasone.

Around 30 minutes later, Phong recovered. Tham removed her from the breathing machine and took her downstairs to the fifth floor for an antibiotic infusion.

At around 8:47 p.m. Phong called her husband and asked him to pick her up because she felt dizzy.

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After the husband arrived at the clinic, he was told by staff to wait on the first floor.

He waited for around one hour and then saw an ambulance show up at the clinic. Phong was then brought out of the clinic already dead.

The Hanoi Health Department has suspended operations at the clinic while investigations into the death continue.

The results of forensic tests on Phong have not been released.

The Maria clinic received its license to operate in December, 2010. It has employed both Vietnamese and Chinese staff.

On June 27, the department fined the clinic VND11.5 million ($552) for false advertising, and for overcharging patients, most of whom came to the clinic following the advertisements.

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