MedShare Trustee, Pat Robinson, Egan Short and I are touring Vietnam in an effort to better understand the needs here and what MedShare’s role might be. The first part of our trip is being hosted by the Lawrence S. Ting Fund, headquarter in Ho Chi Ming City (HCMC). Their hospitality could not be more gracious. They have arranged various appointments with a variety of healthcare providers. From the small community based Phuoc Kien Medical Station in Nha Be District, a basic healthcare unit in a commune to the larger Nha Be Hospital, a district hospital. We also visited the new for profit hospital VF, designed to meet the needs of the growing number of the upper and middle class.
One of the most meaningful visits was with the staff of the University Medical Center in HCMC. There we were given a tour of the cardiovascular surgery department by Dr. Nguyen Hoang Dinh. He was pleased to know that our Vietnam partner at this point has been the Vina Capital Fund. He has had a good working relationship with them and has received support from them. Most likely some of MedShare’s donations through Vina have gone to the Medical Center.
They perform 2 open heart surgeries each day, Monday thru Friday, in one
small OR, with only 4 ICU beds and two small recovery rooms. With very limited resources, this team is performing miracles. There is a new hospital under construction and this facility will provide a new home for this department.
Pat, Egan and I were permitted to enter the OR during a heart operation on a 3 year old boy. It was very moving to see this small heart beating as the surgical team was working to repair a hole in the young boy’s heart. The surgeon explained that they were limited in their ability to work on smaller and younger children because of the lack of ventilating equipment designed to serve smaller bodies. This needed piece of bio-medical equipment is high on their needs list.
Hopefully I can report on our visit later this week with Vina Capital here in HCMC and in Danang. We also will visit with Children of Vietnam, a North Carolina based NGO also working in Danang.