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Security at Vietnamese hospitals placed on high alert
Publication Date : 07-10-2013
Security at hospitals have never seen such alarming situations, with a series of violent assaults on medical staff, causing anxiety and fear for both doctors and patients, police have said.
Last week, a group of 30 armed gangsters rushed into Gia Dinh People's Hospital in HCM City to find a patient admitted to the emergency room. Luckily, doctors and nurses managed to run into another room and escape.
After failing to locate the patient, the group continuously smashed the door and threatened to kill the doctors, only leaving once police began to arrive.
Last month at Vu Thu General Hospital in northern Thai Binh Province, two doctors were stabbed, one of them to death, after they pronounced a patient dead after an hour of treatment in the emergency room.
A series of violent acts against medical staff are recorded to have taken place at Binh Dinh General Hospital in central Binh Dinh Province, HCM City-based Cho Ray Hospital and Nam Can General Hospital in southernmost Ca Mau Province in the past five months, in which the families of patients repeatedly insulted, yelled and threatened to beat up doctors and damaged property in the hospitals.
Dr Le Ngoc Huy of HCM City based-Cho Ray Hospital said assaults at hospitals by gangsters and patient's families were no longer a new story for doctors and nurses.
"The most stressful time starts at 10pm when victims of scuffles are hospitalised for emergency treatment, followed by their accomplices or enemies who are ready to insult or even attack doctors if they don't meet their demands," he said.
Huy said thanks to a group of professional security guards, no serious assault cases have occurred, but added that he didn't know if the hospital could deal with the same incident as Gia Dinh Hospital.
Nguyen Ngoc Hien, vice head of Bach Mai Hospital, said that the indifferent attitudes of doctors was the main reason for such actions.
"When people's beloved are between life and death, they tend to blame the doctors if anything unlucky happens," he said.
To tighten safety for medical staffs and patients, many hospitals have taken measures such as mobilising more security guards at emergency rooms, installing cameras and requiring patients' relatives to present identification. However, it is not enough.
Dr Nguyen Dinh Phu of Hospital 115 said that the hospital could only mobilise three more security guards at emergency rooms, but that they lacked security equipment for the guards. The hospital has asked the police for permission to equip security with nets, electronic batons and guns that fire rubber bullets.
Pham Thanh Boi, vice head of the Police Department in District 5, said each agency or company has its own security teams, thus the police only show up in for difficult or serious situations.
The police can hardly be on duty at hospitals around the clock, but the police always keep in contact with the hospitals' management board and arrive within five to ten minutes if they receive an emergency call, Boi said.
For example, at Cho Ray Hospital there are always police in plain clothes patrolling the hospital, he added.
Nguyen Tran Ngoc Hoa, head of the Police Department's Office 113, encouraged people to call the 113 hotline under any circumstance, as the police for the districts and wards are all connected and can handle serious incidents quickly.