In early March, the Binh Duong Health Department sent a document to health departments, medical and pharmaceutical universities, and dependent units of local health departments throughout the country, asking them to not receive, recruit or train six physicians who broke commitments they had previously made with provincial authorities.

The physicians, who were sent to training courses with funding from provincial authorities, had committed to serve local medical facilities for a certain time after finishing courses. However, they resigned before fulfilling the commitments. They were then asked to reimburse the funding they had received. 

The question was why the physicians decided to resign and pay a lot of money for compensation.

VietNamNet would like to present the story of one physician:

I have completed procedures to resign from a first-class public hospital in HCM City after four years of working there. When I applied at the hospital, I signed a commitment that after my apprenticeship, I would stay at the hospital and work there for 36 months. If I did not, I would have to pay back the training fee to the hospital.

I got my pay and allowances during my apprentice period, VND5 million in total a month. My work included giving medical examinations, helping with emergencies and being on duty. I could not sign medical instructions. Only official physicians could sign the instructions.

I had to work very hard during the 18 months of apprenticeship to obtain a certificate. The work at the emergency department was really hard, but the pay was not high enough to cover basic needs. Please imagine, how can you live with just VND5 million in the largest city in the country?

After 18 months, I was granted a practicing certificate and officially became a doctor in April. But only in June could I receive the salary for a third-class doctor. At that time, my total income which included salary and allowances was VND13 million. I did not dare get married. At the age of 30, I still lived alone.

As the income was too low, like my colleagues, I had to work for private clinics. However, the high number of working hours made me feel tired.

I believe that only Bill Gates works 16 hours a day, but he is a billionaire. I work 15 hours a day, but I can earn VND20 million a month only.

Therefore, I decided to leave for a private hospital. I also learned about procedures and compensation for breaking contracts.

I was told that I worked for the public hospital for 22 months (out of the 36-month commitment) and I had to pay compensation of VND44.5 million for the remaining 14 months.

I decided to borrow VND40 million from a friend of mine to pay back the hospital. I planned to pay back the money later, when I work at a new hospital and can save money.

My friends advised me to ask for help from my parents. But I don’t have the courage to ask my parents to give money to compensate the hospital in exchange for the right to resign. My parents had to spend big money to fund my six-year university study and I don’t want to ask for more money.

A friend of the same training course had to pay compensation of VND117 million when she quit the job. I know that he asked for money from his parents. And the young doctor will have to once again ask for money to pay for training courses for first- and second-degree specialists. In general, doctors have to learn their whole lives.

When doctors study, they have to make commitments with hospitals to work after they finish training and pay compensation if they break the commitments. I know some doctors who have had to pay compensation of billions of dong because they obtained opportunities for short-term training overseas.

Phuong Thuy