Rise in medical violations blamed on inept inspectors

HA NOI, (PNA/VNS) -— Healthcare inspector shortages in terms of both quantity and professional skills is one of the key reasons that lead to the violations found at private healthcare establishments recently.

Health ministry’s chief inspector Dang Van Chinh made the remark at a national e-conference yesterday, noting that HCM City has 45 inspectors, the highest number in the country, but their inspection work must cover 13,000 healthcare establishments.

In Ha Noi, a total 14 inspectors manage more than 2,300 private medical clinics and over 2,800 other establishments providing pharmaceutical services.

The whole country has 290 inspectors, meaning that each health department at 63 localities has around 2-4 inspectors.

Chinh reported that inspections over the past nine months of this year found many violations at private medical establishments in a number of localities.

The ministry’s inspection in a number of provinces and cities in the first nine months of this year found that many private clinics operated without permission and violated advertisement and price regulations.

Addressing the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said the private healthcare sector had achieved positive results over the past years but recent violations by some private healthcare establishments had negative impacts on people’s health and caused public concern.

He urged the ministry to review related legal documents to submit to the Government to soon issue a decree on administrative punishment in the field of healthcare, including the private healthcare sector.

The ministry would work with relevant ministries and agencies to provide guidelines on the content and method of healthcare advertisements as well as to rank private clinics based on their quality, Nhan said.

He asked the ministry to increase its inspection staff and inspectors’ capacity and increase medical ethics training for medical workers.

Nhan also instructed localities to tighten management over healthcare clinics operating in their areas.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the ministry would continue finalizing legal framework on health check-up and treatment activities, increase inspection over operation of private healthcare clinics.

Five inspection teams from the ministry are scheduled to audit the operation of cosmetic surgery centres and private health establishments at 63 localities from this month to the year end.

There are 157 private hospitals nationwide, including six with foreign investors, and over 30,000 private clinics and health providers, according to the health ministry’s statistics.