Last night La's mother was taken to the emergency room with high blood pressure… an ongoing issue for her. The first time they took her blood pressure they said it was 140/80. La knew this was incorrect (she is trained to correctly take blood pressure) and demanded that someone else take her mother's blood pressure. The second reading, only minutes after the first, was 190/140.
Even with that, the doctors sat outside of the ER chatting amongst themselves and refusing to look at her mother until she got very loud and angry with them.
As is standard practice in Vietnam, her father had already paid the hospital two million Vietnam dong (US$89) upfront for her mother to even get into the ER and now the doctors were asking the family if they had any money. This is because to get anything more than cursory medical attention in a Vietnamese hospital, you have to pay (bribe) the doctors and nurses individually... or yell at the doctors and embarrass them until they do their job. The problem with the second method is that eventually you will be ignored again until you come up with the demanded cash.
Overnight, in the 11 hours after her post about this on Facebook, it was shared over 1500 times and has 500+ comments. Six hours later, she had over 2000 comments and 2600 shares. The post really hit a nerve with locals and others who are disgusted and frustrated with what they have to put up with in Vietnamese public hospitals.
Medicine in Vietnam
Medicine in Vietnam, Part Hai (Two)