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Seven medical equipment procurement cases sent to investigative agency

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – After its inspections of major hospitals in the country, the Government Inspectorate proposed that the Ministry of Public Security investigate seven cases relating to the auction and procurement of medical equipment, supplies and medicines.

The inspectorate on January 27 announced the findings of an inspection into the use of social insurance funds and the procurement of medical equipment and supplies and medicines at the Ministry of Health and seven hospitals — Bach Mai, Cho Ray, Viet Duc, K, Vietnam National Children’s Hospital, Hue Central Hospital and Thong Nhat — in the 2014-2018 period.

The government inspectors had also inspected some medical equipment procurement packages at the Hanoi Heart Hospital, People’s Hospital 115, the Central Eye Hospital and the HCMC Oncology Hospital, the local media reported.

Accordingly, the Government Inspectorate found signs of serious violations. Specifically, the National Centralized Drug Procurement Center was found to have slowly issued working regulations and was suspected to have violated criminal laws when it allowed the UNI-Van Lang Company to provide the 500-mg Xalvobin drug.

At Bach Mai Hospital, the cooperation to install 11 CT scanning systems, surgery robots and endoscopes showed signs of abusing positions and power while on duty.

The Government Inspectorate also proposed inspecting the purchase of robots assisting neurosurgery at the management board of a project to develop Hanoi’s cultural and social facilities. Specifically, a contract of the management board with BMS Medical Technology JSC and the Dai Phat Medical Equipment Import Export Co., Ltd was worth over VND38.7 billion, much higher than the price of VND10.9 billion of a similar system at the Bach Mai Hospital.

Moreover, 10 packages to appoint contractors in 2018, the purchase of medical equipment and consumable supplies in 2018, packages to buy an MRI system in 2018 and a CT scanner in 2019 showed signs of violations.

In addition, a package to install a radiation therapy system at the HCMC Oncology Hospital and a contract to install two radiation therapy systems at K Hospital were proposed to be inspected.

Besides, the issuance of an import license of medical equipment at the Department of Medical Equipment and Construction under the Ministry of Health showed signs of violations and group interest.

The inspectorate asked the Ministry of Health to direct hospitals to cancel or adjust these contracts and redetermine the prices of medicines and medical equipment.

The Government Inspectorate also asked the Ministry of Health, the Vietnam Social Security and the governments of Hanoi and HCMC to address in line with the law individuals and organizations committing violations in using the health insurance fund, the procurement of medical equipment and drug auctions at hospitals, and to direct hospitals and local social insurance agencies to impose penalties on the relevant individuals and agencies.

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