Former Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long

With the NA’s approval of the dismissal of the Minister of Health on June 7, Long officially left after 19 months on the hot seat.

Viet A case

Most recently, under the National Assembly’s working program, when discussing the draft law on medical examination and treatment (amendment) on May 26, Long admitted that there have been many wrongdoings found recently in the healthcare sector.

“We are drafting a decree on joint ventures, affiliations and socialization (privatization) in the sector and will submit to the government soon,” Long said.

Speaking at the Government’s online conference with localities on January 5, Long said: “The violations and mistakes committed recently are extremely serious which need to be handled strictly. However, this cannot erase the great efforts and the sacrifice of medical workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the past and the time to come.”

Authorized by the Prime Minister in early January, Long, as Minister of Health, signed a report to the NA about the fight against Covid-19, especially dealing with the Omicron variant, and about the instruction, handling and prevention of embezzlement and wrongdoings in the fight against the pandemic. The document gave details about the issues related to Viet A.

“The violations of the law by Viet A Technology JSC are serious. The company has taken advantage of the pandemic situation to seek profit. There are individuals who have violated regulations in the organization of procurement and bidding and abused their positions and powers when performing official duties,” the report said.

The report said the case has been put under direct instruction and control of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-corruption. The Prime Minister has released documents requesting an investigation and heavy sanctions on the violators who exploited the pandemic to seek illegal profits.

At the National Assembly’s Q&A session on November 10, 2021, some National Assembly deputies raised questions about the medical workers prosecuted because of their wrongdoings in bidding and trading medicine. In reply, Long said: “These are really heartbreaking cases. We have strict regulations on bidding, but there are still violations and corruption. We condemn the behaviors, and the violators will be punished in accordance with the law.”

19-months as Minister of Health  

Long was born on September 3, 1966 in Nam Dinh province. He has a degree in general medicine practice, a doctorate and the tile of professor.

He was accredited by the National Assembly to the post of Minister of Health on November 12, 2020, which means that he had been on the post for 19 months by the time he was dismissed and arrested.

At the 13th Party Congress held in January 2021, he was elected to the Party Central Committee. Later, at the 11th session of the 14th National Assembly, he was approved by the National Assembly to hold the post of Minister of Health in the 2016-2021 tenure. 

In May 2021, he was elected as a deputy of the 15th National Assembly. At the first session of the 15th National Assembly in July 2021, he once again got the approval to hold the post of Minister of Health in the 2021-2026 tenure.

In December 2021, with the decision by the Politburo, Long concurrently held the post of head of the National Commission of Health Services for High-ranking officials.

Before officially taking the office as Minister of Health, he was acting Minister of Health for four months. Prior to that, he worked as Deputy Minister of Health for eight years, (December 201-October 2018 and October 2018 – January 2020) and worked as deputy head of the Central Propaganda Department (January-July 2020).

Prior to that, he experienced many posts, from an officer of the Department of Preventive Medicine, head of the HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention Division, Deputy Director, and then Director of the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC).

Thu Hang