Cho Ray doctor and accomplices receive severe jail sentence

The Ho Chi Minh City Peoples’ Court sentenced a former doctor from the central Cho Ray Hospital to 15 years imprisonment on April 24, for faking prescriptions and stealing billions of dong worth of prescribed drugs in 2009.

Luu To Lan (in orange shirt) and her accomplice listen to the announcement at the court (Photo: A.C)

Dr. Luu To Lan, along with 11 of her accomplices have been accused of “abusing power and position” by faking prescriptions and stealing VND4 billion (US$198,000) worth of drugs. Dr. Luu To Lan alone received VND1.1 billion (US$52,600) by selling drugs.  The 15-year sentence is 5 years shorter than proposed by the city Peoples’ Procurer.

Luu Thi Lieu, 27, a medical representative, Nguyen Thi Thu Ba, 54, a medical staff member from Tan Binh Hospital and Huynh Quoc Thai, 50, a Cho Ray pharmacist received 6 years imprisonment each.

Dr. Tran Dinh Tuy, 41, and Pham Thi Duyen, 29 (from a hospital in District 7) were sentenced to 3 years each.

Nguyen Thi Mai, 51, a Cho Ray Pharmacist; Vui Xuan Chien, 29, a medic from Thu Duc District General Hospital; Nguyen Son Lam from Dong Nai Children Hospital; Hoang Van Tien from Thong Nhat General Hospital of Dong Nai province; Pham Minh Hung from General Hospital in Thu Duc and Luu Quoc Bao from General Hospital of Binh Phuoc province, each received suspended sentences of 18 months to three years.

The court also requested the hospital and the HCMC Social Insurance Agency to improve management, control and supervision of medical examinations and treatment. Insurance surveyors in the hospital must write letters acknowledging their wrongdoings as the fake prescriptions were being made for a long time, while supervisors were unaware.

Between January and April 2009, Lan and her coterie took advantage of the lax hospital management in treating health insurance policies by faking 1,168 prescriptions for health insurance holders, who in fact never came to the hospital for an examination.

She connived with some doctors, nurses and employees of Cho Ray and other hospitals in the country to bypass regulatory procedures to write false prescriptions to non-existing patients and appropriate drugs to resell later.

From March to May 2009, Pham Thi Duyen collected 200 insurance cards of workers in industrial parks and processing zones in the city along with 217 false hospital transfer forms, assisted by Dr. Tran Dinh Tuy, to allow Luu Thi Lieu to make fake documents.

For this crafty work, Duyen and Tuy received VND98million.

Vui Xuan Chien gave Lieu 57 false insurance cards and hospital transfer forms from which Lan was able to steal VND400 million.

Huynh Quoc Thai helped Lan to fill information of false medical record from computers and provide information for a total 1,004 prescriptions. Lan paid him over VND200 million for this handiwork.

Lan and her accomplices sold the drugs to pharmacies at two thirds of the market value and split the money with her accomplices keeping the major share for herself.

By A. Chan - Translated by Phuong Oanh

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