Hanoi police probe woman's death at Chinese clinic

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Staff members at a Hanoi clinic employing Chinese doctors fled the place Sunday morning after a patient was found dead in her room under suspicious circumstances.

Police carried the woman out of the Maria General Clinic at 5 a.m. Sunday morning for forensic tests, said a driver in front of the clinic on Thai Thinh Street, according to a report by news website VnExpress.

She was found dead at 10 p.m. by her family.

The woman has been identified as Nguyen Thi Thu Phong, 34, from Ha Dong District. She worked for an Agribank branch near the eight-storied clinic.

Le Dac Dung, her uncle, told news website Dan Tri that Phong felt tired after coming home from work, so she went to the clinic to get herself checked.

"Then she called me to come, saying that things were not alright."

Dung said several employees of the clinic had stopped him from going up to her room. He still managed to run up when someone went down and told him that Phong was dead.

Dozens of other patients at the clinic have been left in limbo. They were in the middle of some treatment that already cost them a lot of money, but no doctors or nurses would stay to help them further.

A 31-year-old Hanoi woman who was being treated for a gynecological condition said, "It cost me around VND5 million (US$240) each of the first ten days, and less later. I've been treated here for more than 15 days."

Another patient from Quang Ninh Province, around 200 kilometers away, has been staying in the city for a week, spending VND30 million.

She was supposed to have another meeting with doctors before returning home.

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An employee said "I know nothing, if I knew there's a dead person here, I would not have come today."

The Hanoi Health Department on June 27 fined Maria clinic VND11.5 million ($552) for running commercials with false information and images, and for overcharging patients, most of whom came to the clinic following advertisements.

In June, several clinics employing Chinese doctors in Ho Chi Minh City were fined for various violations. It was found that several doctors were unlicensed, expired medicines were being used and clinics were causing environment pollution.

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