Police were summoned to the Ca Mau Province Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital Monday evening after 40 people belonging to a family arrived to protest against the death of a relative following a C-section.
Duong Kim Chung, 28, died on July 28 at the Can Tho General Hospital where she had been taken for treatment for constant pain following a cesarean at the Ca Mau hospital.
Doctors at the Can Tho hospital said Chung had abdominal infection and holes in her bladder that could have been treated if discovered early, the family said.
They brought photos of her funeral to the Ca Mau hospital.
Her husband Bui Van Be said Chung had contractions on July 10 and was taken to the Ca Mau hospital, where doctors ordered an operation.
"After the surgery, her belly was swollen and she had terrible pain. Every time our family called the doctors, they would give her painkillers."
Doctors performed a scan and said she had no problems.
The family took her to the Can Tho hospital six days after the C-section when her pain became unbearable.
Following the protest, the Ca Mau hospital gave the family VND30 million (US$1,440) and promised an official verdict on the cause of death within 10 days.
Dang Be Nam, the hospital director, could not be reached at her telephone, while Huynh Trung Kien, director of the Ca Mau Department of Health, said he knew about the case but was not fully informed yet.
At least 19 delivering mothers have died in Vietnam in the last three months, and in several cases so have the babies.
Several doctors have been suspended for incompetence and malpractice.
The Ministry of Health said Vietnam has achieved much progress in medicine in recent years, but obstetric complications remain a challenge since they crop up more suddenly than in other areas.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thien Nhan has ordered a nationwide inspection of obstetric facilities as well as measures to improve services.
He has also called for strict action against erring medical personnel.
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