Viet Kieu wins $46,700 in suit against Saigon Eye Hospital

By Phan Thuong, Thanh Nien News

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The Saigon Eye Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Phan Thuong The Saigon Eye Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Phan Thuong


A Ho Chi Minh City court ordered the Saigon Eye Hospital to compensate an overseas Vietnamese man who has pursued a malpractice suit against it for four years.
The hospital's owner, Thai Thanh Nam Company, will have to pay 54-year-old Huynh Huu Thong (AKA Huynh Tom Vu) $46,700 - the cost of the corrective surgery he sought at a San Francisco hospital, the HCMC People’s Court said during the trial on Wednesday.
Thong had previously demanded additional compensation for lost income and the air fare costs he incurred while pursuing treatment and his subsequent malpractice suit--a total of US$85,000.
Thong agreed to reduce his demand, last year.
On June 5, 2009 Thong went to the Saigon Eye Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 to have a cataract removed from his right eye.
But Thong said he could not perceive light four hours after the 7-minute surgery conducted by doctor Thai Thanh Nam.

Thong lost 40 percent of his vision due to complications that stemmed from a botched cataract surgery he had in 2009. File photo
The next day, he was examined by another doctor at the hospital, who said his cornea had become inflamed and was referred to his surgeon.
Doctor Duy allegedly told him his condition was normal and scheduled a follow-up examination a week later.
While waiting, Thong visited another eye hospital in the city, which was never named in court papers.
There doctors  reportedly told him the operation had left him with corneal dystrophy and that the condition couldn't be treated in Vietnam.
After returning to the US for a corneal transplant, he attempted to demand compensation from the Saigon Eye Hospital, which refused to comply - arguing that he had become the victim of "rare" complications.
During his trial on Wednesday, the court ruled that Dr Thai Thanh Nam did not follow the law and failed to fulfill his professional obligations by ignoring five orders to appear in court.
The court said it would petition to the Minister of Health and HCMC Health Department to pursue punitive measures.

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