VIET NAM – Abortion clinic extorts $1,100 from a patient

A 37-year-old woman from Ho Chi Minh City said that after offering her a VND 2 million abortion (US$ 82), the Y Hoc Sai Gon clinic got her on the operating table and then demanded that she pay VND 29 million ($1,189).

She was only able to transfer VND9 million (= US$ 369) while she was on the operating table. Staff then held her there against her will, demanding that she pay the rest of the money before the procedure could be completed.

The woman’s family called the Municipal Department of Health to report what happened and request an investigation. Two days later the Health Inspectorate raided the clinic. They found two patients in the waiting room waiting for abortions. There was no gynaecologist in the clinic at the time. No documentation of the patients’ records was provided. They were directed to the local hospital ob-gyn department.

The inspectorate said the clinic in question had shown signs of extorting patients and not allowing them to leave. The facility has been suspended for not being able to ensure certain conditions regarding personnel and patients’ safety.

Authorities are working with the legal representative of the clinic to proceed further. Violations can result in fines of up to VND120 million (US$4,921) and the suspension of operations for four months.

If people are found to have committed offences against regulations governing medical examinations, medical treatment, and other medical services, they can be jailed for up to five years.

HCMC has fined several clinics for fabricating diseases and extorting patients over the last several years, many of them being clinics with foreign investment and employees. But many clinics apparently simply change their names and continue operating after the fines and suspensions.

SOURCE: VN Express International, by Le Phuong, 22 September 2023 ; PHOTO