Is international hospital really international?

February 22, 2020 | 08:42
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Thu Cuc International General Hospital has been accused of discriminating a woman from the coronavirus-struck Vinh Phuc by refusing her treatment, bringing into question the ethical and professional standards of a hospital that prides itself on its "international standard" services.
is international hospital really international
Charges of discrimination against Thu Cuc International General Hospital raise questions about "international standards" assumed by hospitals in Vietnam

Facebook users named Le Tien and Nguyen Kim Oanh shared their unpleasant experience at Thu Cuc International General Hospital where pregnant Nguyen Kim Oanh and her husband registered for childbirth at the hospital, but when the time came was denied treatment.

“The hospital made my wife wait from early morning until the afternoon and then rejected helping her because we are from Vinh Phuc,” Le Tien shared.

is international hospital really international
The Facebook status of Le Tien

Vinh Phuc province is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), with many people having been isolated and receiving treatment.

According to information shared by other Facebookers, Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh was pregnant with her third child and the family decided to sign up for childbirth at Thu Cuc International Hospital, hoping to receive the high-quality service the hospital claims and deposited VND30 million ($1,300) before Tet. After the Lunar New Year holiday, Oanh regularly had check-ups and was isolated in Thu Cuc Hospital. However, when Oanh was about to give birth and travelled from Vinh Phuc to Hanoi, the hospital refused her and told her to return to Vinh Phuc.

is international hospital really international

Netizens widely shared the story and took to the comment board to criticise the hospital for discriminating a patient in an emergency situation.

The Ministry of Health then sent Document No.767/BYT-BM-TE to require Thu Cuc International General Hospital to submit a report and handle the case before February 25.

VIR is reaching out for comments and will update the article as Thu Cuc has yet to react to the scandal.

The scandal once again brings into question what an “international hospital” is.

According to LuatVietNam, a member of INCOM Communications LSC, the current system of medical examination and treatment facilities includes state-owned and private establishments (pursuant to Article 81 of the 2009 Law on Medical Examination and Treatment).

In addition, under Article 22 of Decree No.109/2016/ND-CP, amended and supplemented in 2018, there are only two types of hospitals: general and specialised hospitals – thus, international hospitals are not a separate legal category.

According to newswire Dat Viet, currently, Vietnam has four hospitals certified for international quality by Joint Commission International (JCI), including Cao Thang Eye Hospital, FV Hospital, Vinmec International Hospital in Central Park, and Vinmec International Hospital in TimesCity. Other, so-called international hospitals were designated unilaterally.

Many hospitals are now billed as the best hospitals reaching international standards. However, there has yet to be clear legislation on this issue. Therefore, hospitals add the word "international" to their names only to impress customers and make unsubstantiated claims about the quality of their services.

Article 8(9) of the 2012 Law on Advertising: Prohibited acts in advertising: Advertising incorrectly or causing confusion about the business competence, the ability to provide products, goods and services of organizations and individuals trading and providing such products, goods and services; about the quantity, quality, prices, features, designs, package, brand name, kinds, method of service, warranty duration of the registered or announced products, goods and services.

The violation can be administratively sanctioned or criminally handled with a fine of VND50-70 million ($2,173-3,043) as prescribed in Article 51 of Decree No.158/2013/ND-CP

By Tan Duong

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