Criminals bought fake medical certificates to escape justice: Hanoi police

By Nam Phuong   August 10, 2018 | 11:01 pm PT
Two senior staff at Hanoi's Central Psychiatric Hospital 1 allegedly helped criminals escape justice with fake mental illness certificates, police say.

Hanoi police on Thursday formally launched a criminal probe into alleged criminal activities of the deputy head of the hospital's Department of Old Age Psychiatry and the head of the Department of Nutrition.

Suspcions were raised when several criminal suspects arrested in recent months submitted medical records showing that they had mental illnesses to avoid prosecution.

Police however discovered that one of the records from a psychiatric hospital in Hanoi was fake.

Under questioning, the suspect admitted to paying doctors VND85 million ($3,600) to be falsely diagnosed with "paranoid schizophrenia."

As psychiatric assessment plays an important role in Vietnam's justice system, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien has said that  anyone found abusing their powers to make false diagnoeses of mental illness  be strictly punished.

The Ministry of Health has urged all professionals in mental health  not to let material wealth or personal relationships affect their assessments, and requested related agencies and psychiatric hospitals to review the procedures involved in the diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses.

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