Senior Vietnamese health official faces Party discipline

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The Party Central Committee has instructed the Health Ministry's Party unit to propose disciplinary measures against a deputy minister who had been accused of using a fake doctorate degree and committing other wrongdoings in the execution of his duty.

The committee's instructions followed its conclusion that the accusations levied against Deputy Minister Cao Minh Quang were reasonable, the Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien as saying on January 8.

Tien also said governmental inspectors had inspected the Drug Administration of Vietnam and found no violations committed by the agency's head Truong Quoc Cuong.

Although there is no direct report on the issue, some media reports have speculated that there has been some conflict between two factions in the pharmaceutical industry with Quang and Cuong on opposite sides.

Earlier, seven pharma firms had denounced Cuong, accusing him of favoring some companies, including BV Pharma, in the import of some strictly-managed materials.

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In response, BV Pharma accused the seven firms of poor management of raw materials that can be used to make methamphetamine.

BV Pharma's former general director Ngo Chi Dung had accused Quang of abusing his influence to borrow VND1 billion from the company at low interest rates.

Quang has also been accused of using a fake doctorate degree. A subsequent assessment by the Ministry of Education and Training found Quang had obtained a "licentiatexemen" at the Uppsala University in Sweden, which is an "Intermediate Degree" that is at a lower level than a doctorate.

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