Vietnamese businessman turns ambulance driver for the poor

By Phuc Hung    October 1, 2018 | 06:00 am PT
Vietnamese businessman turns ambulance driver for the poor
Hoa has turned his dream of having a vehicle that could carry many patients into reality. Photo by VnExpress
Identifying with the plight of those taking motorbike taxis to hospitals, one man decided to make a difference.

For months now, people in Soc Trang City of the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang have been singing praises of Nguyen Thanh Hoa, 42, who has spent tens of thousands of US dollars on launching a free ambulance service for people in difficult circumstances.

Hoa said that more than 20 years ago, his family’s financial situation was very difficult. He and his brothers were xe om (motorbike taxi) drivers in front of a hospital in Soc Trang.

“I’ve witnessed many difficulties of poor people. Every time I took someone who was facing a lot of hardship in life, I didn’t take their money,” said Hoa.

Since then, he had nurtured a dream of having a vehicle that could carry many patients.

After many years of struggle, his family’s living conditions improved. In addition to opening a business making metal doors, he also began undertaking construction projects to earn more income.

In the middle of this year, Hoa decided to turn his dream into reality by buying a second hand minivan with 16 seats. He gave it a total make-over and registered it as a specialised car, fully equipped with medical supplies.

“The total investment cost was nearly VND500 million ($21,468), I got my family and relatives’ support, so I’m very happy,” Hoa said.

Day or night, Hoa doesn’t refuse anyone who needs help. For people in difficulties whose relatives pass away at the hospital, he takes the body home for free.

Dr Truong Hoai Phong, Director of Soc Trang Province’s Health Department, said that although there were other volunteer organizations in the area, what Hoa’s doing is extremely meaningful and should be encouraged.

Hoa has been instructed by many doctors on how to perform proper first aid. Each week, on average, he assists around seven families to get to hospitals in Soc Trang City, Can Tho City and Ho Chi Minh City.

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