City private clinics violating environmental laws ordered to close

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council ordered concerned departments on Friday, to temporarily shut down those private medical clinics in the City that were violating environmental regulations.

At a meeting with Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, Health, Science and Technology, the People’s Council of HCMC issued orders to close all private medical clinics in the city that were violating environmental regulations till further notice.

Pham Van Dong, head of the People’s Council Economics and Budget Committee, ordered temporary closure of private hospitals that were violating environmental regulations, telling relevant agencies to monitor closely any waste or toxic matter being dumped by private hospitals.

Under the order, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Health have legal ground to suspend or temporarily shut operations of a hospitals if found to violate environment laws.

Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology will conduct   research on waste discharge treatment systems that can be used by   small scale hospitals.

The city currently has 34 private hospitals, 292 infirmaries and an undisclosed number of doctors practicing from their homes, according to Department of Health statistics.

From these only 15 hospitals met the national standards set for waste treatment, 19 hospitals failed to meet the mandatory standards even though they have discharge treatment systems, while the rest unaccounted number of private clinics don’t even have the facilities.

Although private clinic can well afford to invest in waste treatment system, they lack space to install such facilities. In spite of this   drawback they are still allowed to function and operate normally.  This makes the task of inspectors very difficult in monitoring environmental pollution.

The City People’s Council hence decided to temporarily shut down clinics violating environmental laws.

By M. Hai - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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