German man keeps returning to Saigon hospital in search of a free bed for the night

By Khanh Ly   September 3, 2017 | 03:51 pm GMT+7
German man keeps returning to Saigon hospital in search of a free bed for the night
A foreign patient, not the German man mentioned in the story, without company at Cho Ray hospital. Photo by Vnexpress/Khuong Quynh
He was treated for free by doctors at the overloaded Cho Ray Hospital in May, and has refused to contact his embassy for help. 

Doctors at Cho Ray Hospital are becoming sick of the sight of a 69-year-old German national who keeps returning despite there being nothing wrong with him.

Norbert Michael Pils was hospitalized last May with deep vein thrombosis and oedema in the legs. 

He was operated on and cared for by doctors at the hospital - all for free because he couldn't afford the fee - before being discharged.

Pils was taken to a hotel where he had previously stayed, only to be turned away by the hotel staff, presumably due to an outstanding bill. 

And so began his persistent returns.

Pils has shown up at Cho Ray, a major hospital in Saigon, seven times in the past three months as he has nowhere else to go. 

On one occasion he stayed at the hospital for 10 days, and he is currently "a resident" in the Emergency Unit. 

He has also refused to follow the hospital's advice and contact the German embassy or consulate for help.

The German's actions are proving to be a real burden for doctors at Cho Ray, who are already overloaded.

And Pils's case is not the exception. There have been dozens of incidents involving foreign patients refusing to cooperate with doctors at the hospital. 

On August 27, American national Walter Samuel was hospitalized after suffering from a stomachache and heavy diarrhea after fainting on the side of a road. When nurses tried to take a blood sample, he started screaming and kicked up a huge fuss. 

Since 2016, Cho Ray Hospital has spent more than VND700 million ($30,800) on treating foreign patients who cannot afford the service charges. 

Hospital staff have been forced to seek help from local authorities and foreign consulates numerous times because Vietnam does not have a policy on financial aid for foreign patients. 

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