Viet A and the healthcare sector crisis expose political recession in Vietnam

Propaganda billboards against COVID-19 on the streets of Hanoi.

The Vietnamese healthcare sector’s “abnormalities” are taking place immediately after the Viet A case with the system of officials big and small, central and local being punished. It is not only considered the “last drop” of the crisis, but also exposes the evolution of political recession, systematic profiteering, and corruption manipulating Vietnam’s communist regime.

Healthcare sector’s crisis

The shortage of drugs, medical supplies and numerous medical staff quitting, etc. are manifestations of the health sector crisis. By the end of June 2022, 28 out of 34 Departments of Health and 12 out of 21 central hospitals reported that there was a shortage of drugs in the locality and units and a series of medical staff quit and moved out of the sector in the country. State leaders had to use the term “healthcare sector crisis” to describe the current healthcare situation. During a meeting with voters of the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) National Assembly Delegation on the afternoon of June 21, 2022, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the city to soon prevent the health crisis. Two days later, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stated that the shortage of drugs, equipment, supplies, medical-biological products, and the lack of medical professionals was a serious problem, and when chairing the meeting of the Standing Committee of the government with branches on June 23, he emphasized the need to drastically solve the situation.

The warning about the health crisis was issued in connection with the epidemic prevention and control with the “determination of the whole political system” during the implementation of the Zero-COVID strategy. In April 2021 during a visit to check this work in Da Nang, the President, when recalling the spirit of “fighting the epidemic like fighting the enemy” and successful experiences from previous epidemics, emphasized that the system Vietnam’s health system must always be ready in all situations. “If there is a crisis in the health sector, it will lead to a crisis in the whole economy.” The warning was fulfilled when the fourth epidemic in the second half of this year caused a “crisis” in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces and spread throughout the country. Now, in the context of a complicated health crisis, observers are concerned about the case of a “super-epidemic” when a dangerous outbreak of dengue fever is spreading in many southern provinces, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, the cries of “Save the white blouse” are attracting public attention.

The “profiteering trick” degrades the whole system

Viet A’s “profiteering trick” is degrading the whole system. This case is not only “the last straw” that pushes the health situation to an “unusual” peak but also exposes the complicated political deterioration and corruption of the health system with immediate and long-term consequences.

Self-polishing” is the “business trick” of businesses in the era of market transformation. They try to make their image more beautiful in front of customers not only by promoting “attractive” products and services and by introducing more than actual capabilities… Moreover, businesses also know the way to the “sympathy” of powerful officials when cultivating friendly relationships for long-term profiteering. Viet A is a typical case.

According to the profile, Viet A is a Technology Joint Stock Company established in 2007 with an initial capital of VND80 million ($1,700). Until 2017, this company only earned a few tens of billion dong and often reported losses. After that, this enterprise has six times increased charter capital, even up to VND1 trillion. But in fact, Viet A Company had no activities for many years. But since 2018, Viet A has continuously won many medical equipment packages and many special types of biochemical products for many large public hospitals in Hanoi and many provinces. It was only when the case “broke” in 2021 that the police agency searched and was “surprised” to find that the kit production room of this company was only about 10m² wide with 10 employees, equipment system, and machinery just a few freezers and some old separators…

However, please don’t just blame Viet A for its cunning tricks with “terrible commissions” to win bids for projects that spend the state budget but forget the responsibility of the corrupt bureaucracy system. The temptation of huge “commissions“, “discreet” and the reliability of friendly relationships nurtured is a satisfactory answer to the question of why a “small” business can make the whole machine work ” inter-ministerial” Health – Science and Technology fell into the “spin of profiteering” and a system of officials from central to local levels were disciplined. They made a deliberate and ‘coordinated’ effort to ‘polish’ the business. From a state-level “huge” fake project on research and production of SARS-CoV-2 virus test kits of the “reputable” Military Medical Academy to the recognition of licenses and false propaganda about the virus. quality standards on the official website of the Ministry of Science and Technology, from the evaluation of the application for circulation by the Ministry of Health to the approval of selling prices in the health system and, even the proposal of the government. The authority of Ho Chi Minh City has bypassed the emulation and commendation agency to be awarded the 3rd class Labor Medal by the state president… Such a complicated medical product testing process from research to the application is “approved” could easily be justified other than systemic political decline.

Corruption becomes a “lubricant

Corruption has been warned as a form of “corruption” that threatens the regime’s survival. Viet A became a major case and exposed the manifestations and severity of the political recession. At a conference summarizing 10 years of anti-corruption work on June 30, the Party General Secretary was “worried” about “corruption in anti-corruption agencies.” The head of the Internal Affairs Department commented that “many serious corruption cases have the shadow of cadres aiding” while the Deputy Minister of Public Security said that “the Viet A case is a case study showing that cadres are not afraid [of being punished for corruption].

However, the reality of market transformation has shown that the situation of profiteering and corruption has gradually become serious, starting from a single phenomenon, petty corruption, then spreading throughout the political system, and is likened to a “lubricating oil” for the operation of the governing apparatus makes the Party’s prevention work not as effective as it should be. The Party is “paying a higher price” in each “battle as well as the whole campaign when it insists that absolute concentrated power will solve the situation and is increasing resources for “burning furnace” work. . No one is sure that after “Viet A” and “Consular Department” there will be no big cases…

Tens of thousands of officials, large and small, including more than 170 senior officials managed by the Central Government, were removed from the system because of the recession, the administrative apparatus was “frozen”, and the stagnation was evident in the development of the system. implemented the economic recovery program after the pandemic, typically a public investment in North-South highway projects… And, now is the healthcare crisis that has caused 15 National Assembly deputies in the session of parliament to speak out about the spread of the phenomenon of not daring to take responsibility, afraid of making mistakes” of officials.

The public is wondering how the current “health crisis” will have a pervasive negative effect on economic activity and social life. The solutions offered by the Government may be “drastic”, but if you only react “in self-defense” to “corruption in drug prices”, “try opening a hotline about drug shortages”, and amend the regulations. The decision to bid for drugs or strengthen internal discipline can only cut the “top” of the “crisis,” because the machinery that produces bureaucracy is characteristic of the regime’s decline. (Translated)

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