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Police probe faulty medical equipment

VietNamNet Bridge – Ha Noi police are co-operating with the Ministry of Health to investigate the medical equipment provided by the ministry's bidding package number four to district-level hospitals in the city,

VietNamNet Bridge – Ha Noi police are co-operating with the Ministry of Health to investigate the medical equipment provided by the ministry's bidding package number four to district-level hospitals in the city, said the municipal Police Colonel Phan Cao Thu.

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The VND30 billion (US$1.45 million) package provided equipment for 10 district-level hospitals including those in Son Tay, Van Dinh, Quoc Oai, Chuong My, Hoai Duc and Thuong Tin.

"There were signs of faking State's documents and unusual purchases of the Greiner GA240 biochemistry analysers that were bought via several companies in Ha Noi," said Thu.

The investigation followed an inspection at Thuong Tin hospital on Sunday by officials from the municipal Department of Health, Department of Environmental Police and Thuong Tin District Police which found parts of German-made biochemistry analyser Greiner GA240 were manufactured in China and Viet Nam.

The machine's label indicated the manufacturer's name and address in Germany, in spite of the fact that cooling fans and motors inside had been made in China, together with a small fan from Viet Nam.

Another biochemistry analyser Greiner GA240 given to Hoai Duc hospital was also found to have the label.

"The machines have proper documents to prove they were manufactured in Germany. Globalisation makes it feasible to manufacture some parts of the machines in a third country but all of them still have to meet the standards of the export country," said the Ha Noi Department of Health at a press meeting on Tuesday.

The machine only provided 38 test results in two-and-a-half hours while it was expected to handle 180 in one hour.

The model series GA240 was not found on any list of machines manufactured by the Greiner brand, according to Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.

Good on paper

Six of the Greiner GA240 biochemistry diagnostic machines had been imported into Viet Nam by the Ha Noi-based Binh Mai Ltd., Co at the total cost of VND2.147 billion (US$103,200), or approximately VND360 million (US$17,300) per machine.

After purchasing the machines from Binh Mai company, another city-based company, Tam Long, sold the equipment to the Mineral Import and Export Joint Stock Co. at a twofold price of VND648 million (US$31,100) per machine.

The Mineral Import and Export Company was chosen by the Ministry of Health as the provider for the biochemistry analysers in bidding package number four.

Under regulations of the Ministry of Health, biochemistry analysers required the ministry's import permit to get into Viet Nam.

The No 5087 permit for the machines was signed by the then-Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien (currently the Minister) on 2 August, 2010.

The equipment had been imported two months earlier, on 1 June, with the same number 5087 permit signed by Tien on the same day.

Tien said that she was surprised to find that there were two import permits with the identical numbers of 5087 signed at different times.

"Most of the equipment evaluation work is based on papers but it is hard for a management unit like our ministry to detect fake documents," said her.

Source: VNS

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