Former Hanoi hospital director arrested in ongoing fraud case

By Ba Do   September 25, 2020 | 09:24 pm PT
Former Hanoi hospital director arrested in ongoing fraud case
Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, March 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Nguyen Quoc Anh, former chief of Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital, has been arrested for alleged price gouging by fraudulently inflating the price of some equipment in the books.

The economic police have also arrested Nguyen Ngoc Hien, a former deputy director of the hospital, one of the largest public facilities in Vietnam, and its chief accountant Trinh Thi Thuan.

They allegedly colluded with certain companies for buying equipment and showed their prices as being higher than they actually were to charge patients correspondingly higher.

Major General To An Xo, chief of staff at the Ministry of Public Security, said the arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into suspected fraud at the hospital and a number of related units resulting in the arrests of the director and a deputy director of BMS Medical Technology JSC (BMS) and an appraiser from the Hanoi Valuation and Financial Services JSC (VFS).

During the installation of an imported neurosurgery robotic system under BMS's contract with the hospital, though the customs price for it was VND7.4 billion ($320,000), the suspects, using an illegal valuation certificate, inflated its price in the books to VND39 billion.

Xo explained that since the price was VND7.4 billion, each patient should have been charged VND4 million, but with their inflated price of VND39 billion, the suspects charged VND23 million.

Between 2017 and 2019 the hospital used it on more than 550 patients, enabling the suspects to pocket VND10.5 billion.

According to the hospital's current director, Nguyen Quang Tuan, the use of the system was stopped since the start of the investigation in May.

The hospital is also reviewing the prices of all machinery and equipment procured in partnership with private firms, including MRI scanners, biochemical testing equipment and surgical equipment.

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