Hanoi clinics bring back illegal Chinese staff

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Several private clinics in Hanoi recently punished for hiring unlicensed Chinese doctors are operating again, albeit more discretely.

A Saigon Tiep Thi report Tuesday said Chinese staff members are available and are working as doctors at several clinics again, although the clinics denied their presence when asked about them via phone. They have also stopped advertising for the Chinese doctors.

A reporter undercover as a customer called My Viet clinic at 620 Hoang Hoa Tham Street to ask for a meeting with a Chinese doctor.

The clinic, which was found illegally employing Chinese workers earlier this year, told the reporter there were no Chinese working at the clinic. 

But upon visiting the clinic later, a Vietnamese receptionist told the reporter: "There are Vietnamese and Chinese doctors available. You can meet whoever right now and do not have to book a meeting."

Another clinic at 59 Khuong Trung, which was fined VND48.75 million (US$2,336) twice for using unlicensed Chinese doctors, also promised to have Chinese doctors again if the customers demanded it.

Nguyen Viet Cuong, chief inspector at the Hanoi Health Department, said neither My Viet and Khuong Trung clinics were licensed to use foreign staff members.

Cuong said the department will inspect the sites again.

The clinics have hidden from the media since late July, following raids by the city health authorities after a Vietnamese woman died at the Maria at 65-67 Thai Thinh Street.

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Hanoi police have proposed criminal charges against the clinic and three Chinese doctors after forensic tests found an infusion they gave had caused the death on July 14. The woman went there for a check up after suffering from fatigue.

Maria was the only clinic officially suspended. Others have only received warnings that their licenses could be revoked.

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