Vietnam's deputy health minister, provincial chief disciplined

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The inspectorate of the Communist Party of Vietnam announced Wednesday they have issued warnings to the deputy minister of health and a provincial head for their wrongdoings, Vietnam News Agency reported.

At a meeting that day, the Central Inspectorate concluded that the actions of Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang's had violated the criteria for being a Party member, causing harm to the Party's internal unity as well as his personal reputation.

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

The official was also concluded to have falsely declared that the degree he earned at Uppsala University in Sweden in 1996 was a doctorate. In fact, following accusations lodged by a war veteran last year, the Ministry of Education and Training launched an investigation and later said the degree was merely a pre-doctorate.

According to the inspectorate, the official also made erroneous statements and reports to the Ministry of Health, as well as violated regulations on working at the ministry by making "random" assessments which "lacked contributions" about his subordinates.

Earlier, in 2009, Quang received a warning from the Party's inspectorate for several violations, including making false accusations against the US-owned Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) company in Vietnam.

Quang had sent a letter to MSD's chief executive officer and administrative president for the Asia-Pacific region complaining about the company's unethical lobbying activities related to a vaccine against human papillomavirus, according to the inspectorate's report at that time.

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Also at the meeting, inspectorate announced that Lu Ngoc Cu, chairman of the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak's People's Committee, received a warning for "critical" wrongdoings which caused economic losses and hurt the Party's leadership as well as his personal prestige, the news agency reported.

For example, he permitted the Dak Lak Environment and Urban Management Company to invest in a project to upgrade a road in Buon Ma Thuot Town using an investment from government bonds which had been designated for a hospital project.

Cu was also found separating the provincial Fund for Investment and Development, setting it up as an independent agency and appointing a director for it without reporting those actions to the standing committee of the provincial Party Unit.

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