Abortion clinic extorts $1,100 from patient

By Le Phuong   September 22, 2023 | 03:44 pm PT
A Ho Chi Minh City woman says that after offering her a VND2-million abortion, a clinic got her on the operating table before demanding she pay VND29 million ($1,189) instead.

The 37-year-old woman had the abortion at the Y Hoc Sai Gon clinic, but she was only able to transfer VND9 million while she was on the operating table. Staff then held her at the clinic against her will, demanding that she pay the rest of the money before the procedure could continue.

The woman’s family called the municipal Department of Health on September 19 to report the matter and request an intervention.

A representative of the health department inspectorate said on September 21 the unit had cooperated with local authorities to raid the clinic after the report was made. The representative said that at the time of the raid, there were two patients in the waiting room at the clinic. All the patients were there for abortions, but there was no gynecologist at the clinic at the time. The location also failed to show documentation of the patients’ diagnoses.

The patients had been directed to the Tu Du Hospital, HCMC's ob-gyn hospital, for their health to be checked.

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 further proceed. Violations can result in fines of up to VND120 million and the suspension of operations for four months.

If people are found to have committed offenses 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 simply change their names and continue operating after the fines and suspensions.

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