Multi-million-dollar hospital project left to rot in northern Vietnam

By Le Hoang, Viet Linh   August 9, 2017 | 11:02 am GMT+7

The unfinished public hospital is six years late but the government said it will not be entitled to more funding until 2020.

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Work on the Nam Dinh General Hospital started in November 2007 covering nearly 10 hectares (25 acres) in its namesake province, around two hours drive to the south of Hanoi. The facility was designed to become a major healthcare center for the north of the country, with 700 sickbeds and a helicopter pad.

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The project was being funded by government bonds. In 2009, costs ballooned by 42 percent from the original estimate to VND850.8 billion ($37.4 million).

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The main contractors are the Vinaconex 504 Joint Stock Company under the construction ministry and the Urban Infrastructure Development Investment Corporation under Hanoi’s construction department. The builders were scheduled to finish the job in 2011.

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But work has been dragging on and most of the building is still a shell.

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Weeds have taken over.

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Rust has taken its toll on exposed metalwork.

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Locals said the contractors only send in workers for a couple days when inspectors are scheduled to visit.

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Vu Khac Dong, deputy head of the management agency in charge of key construction projects in Nam Dinh, said the project was further delayed in 2015 when the government decided it was not entitled to more funding until after 2020.

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Dong said his agency will be looking for alternative investment sources. “We know its a waste but we have not come up with a plan B yet.”