Fight against corruption in the health sector

Anyone found bribing doctors will be fined VND30 million (USD1,419), according to the government’s newly-issued decree, which took effect December 31.

The highest fine for individuals is VND100 million (USD4,731) and VND200 million (USD9,462) for organisations.

The regulation also stipulates that anyone who is found giving, receiving or facilitating bribes in the healthcare process will be fined between VND20 million and VND30 million (USD946.3-USD1,419).

Previously, in response to the ineffectiveness of the movement “Say no to bribes”, the Minister of Health Nguyen, Thi Kim Tien, said it is necessary to make a distinction in the difference between giving envelops to doctors before and after medical treatment.

“Patients are in need of treatment and it’s unacceptable when doctors receive envelopes before providing that treatment. Giving gifts, including envelopes has been a long-embedded culture in Vietnam, and is a way for the patient to thank doctors after treatment,” she emphaised.

In accordance to the new regulation, however, giving this money, regardless of whether it is before or after treatment is punishable.

Medical institutions would be fined from VND10 million – VND15 million (USD473.14-USD709.72) for not moving patients who need emergency aid to proper facilities that can provide the necessary care.

A fine of between VND200,000 and VND500,000 (USD9.46-USD23.65) would be applied to those who refuse vaccines for infectious diseases that are compulsory under the expanded national vaccination programmes.

Currently, several parents and medical workers refuse to use certain vaccines or ask for others in their stead after several well-publicised incidents related to the Quinvaxem and hepatitis B vaccines.