Vietnam deputy health minister relieved from post for 'violations'

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Deputy Minister of Health Cao Minh Quang has been sacked after just one term for his "violations while in duty," according to the government website.

Quang, 56, had completed a five-year term in February, and was a caretaker deputy minister pending a decision by the government about whether to give him one more term.

The Ministry of Health recommended against it, and is considering a new assignment for him.

Earlier this year the Communist Party's inspectorate had issued a warning to Quang for not abiding by the criteria for being a member, thus harming the Party's internal unity as well as his own reputation.

Inspectors said that in 2007 Quang got the Ho Chi Minh City-based BV Pharma Joint-venture Co. to lend him VND1 billion (US$48,000), which was motivated by "self-interest."

He also falsely declared that he had a doctorate from Uppsala University in Sweden in 1996.

Following accusations by a war veteran last year, the Ministry of Education and Training launched an investigation and found that he only had a pre-doctorate degree.

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According to inspectors, he also made erroneous statements and reports to the ministry, and flouted regulations by making "arbitrary" assessments that "failed to mention" his subordinates.

In 2009 too Quang was warned by the inspectorate for several violations, including making false accusations against the US-owned Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) Company in Vietnam.

He wrote to MSD's CEO and administrative president for the Asia-Pacific region complaining about the company's unethical lobbying for a vaccine against human papillomavirus, according to the inspectorate.

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