Health authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau on Friday suspended a doctor and two nurses pending investigations into the death of a 17-year-old girl that has sparked public outrage over the last few days.
Dr Nguyen Duy Tu and two nurses Ho Minh Canh and To Van Phuoc of Nam Can Hospital in Nam Can District are blamed for ignoring requests by the family of Nguyen Thi Thu Huyen to examine and treat her last Tuesday morning.
Huyen was admitted to hospital at around 8 a.m on Tuesday (June 28). She was found lying unconscious on a road five hours earlier by a local resident.
Dr Tu and the two nurses examined her perfunctorily and kept telling the family she would be okay.
Nguyen Thi Phuc, Huyen's aunt, said: "The doctor quickly examined her and said she was okay. He told us to take her home."
"Upon seeing her writhing on the bed with pain, I insisted on leaving her at the hospital for treatment."
At midnight, Huyen developed breathing difficulties, but Dr Tu once again affirmed she was okay and left.
Huyen died at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday (June 29).
A post-mortem by Ca Mau Province's Health Department showed she died from brain trauma.
Her family said Dr Tu and the two nurses did not detect her head injury so they did not perform any X-ray scan on her.
Following the death, the furious family put Huyen's body on a cart and took it around town to protest the actions of the doctor and nurses.
Hundreds of locals rushed to the hospital to protest the hospital's irresponsibility.
A group of more than 40 people stormed the houses of Dr Tu and Dr Tran Thien Thanh, director of the Nam Can Hospital, breaking furniture and robbing some property.
As of Friday, local police arrested 28 people, who the police said "took advantage of the mess to steal."
The police also arrested Le Quoc Lo, 17, on suspicion of attempting to rape Huyen, causing her to jump off his bike and suffer the head injury early on June 28.