Minister claims improvement in work ethics of medical workers

At a meeting held by the Committee for Social Affairs on April 18, Vietnam’s Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said she had fulfilled her promise to improve the working ethics of medical workers at a National Assembly meeting before.

Viet-German Hospital, one of five hospital see a huge change in behavior of medical workers towards patients

Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said a survey of patients in hospitals such as Viet-German in Hanoi, Medicine University, Nhan Dan Gia Dinh in Ho Chi Minh City and the General Hospital in the northern province of Ha Nam, showed a huge change in behavior of medical workers towards patients.

The biggest public hospitals have also been successful in banning their staff from taking ‘under the table’ money from patients.

Many patients had complained about the quality of health services and the poor attitude of health workers. While patients moaned that health workers asked for extra tips to provide better service, health officials said that they needed patients’ cooperation to curb this evil.

Short and long-term measures were applied to stop this disgusting practice of taking money from patients. For instance, in early April, the Ministry organized ethics training for hospital leaders and for long term the Ministry will plan a way to assess patients satisfaction during their treatment in a hospital and the new so-called faculty of Ethics for Medical Workers will be  set up in medicine universities, said Tien.

However, participants at the meeting expressed doubts on these measures, as according to Pham Duc Chau from the central province of Quang Tri, it is very hard to change the age-old evil of taking money envelopes from patients in exchange for better service. The Minister should actually make surprise tours of hospitals, instead of offering rhetoric, they said.

By Binh An - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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