2010 Report


Paediatric anaesthetics, surgery and nursing LDGH, Lam Dong General Hospital, DaLat, Vietnam

VN air approved 140 kg additional for flight over, 210 kg additional for HCMC to DaLat and 100kg from Dalat to Sydney
2 for hospital, 2 for blind school
Business cards

Stephanie, Jill, Narelle,
Photography:John Graham
EOI to Mr Truong
Memebrs of hospital group find it great to have Narelle working here because we are not just talking about medicine all of the time and it has broadened us extraordinarily by seeing what they have to put up with. We are very privileged in finding a bit more about their culture You still feel you have had a holiday although you are exhausted but still feel kind of "refreshed" after one of these sorts of trips. Last year when Narellle went to the blind school, that gave us a lot more networking and established rapport. With 3 people, it has been a lot more effective. 

Happiness House

Being able to provide practical aid to happiness house has been a good. This has been food shopping and an "ice-cream run"

Paed surgery anaesthetics, Nursing

Sandy Peter, John
Preop patient handouts
A lot more corrrespondemce and only form us not David or Hue
Cnsolidation and get DaLat surgeons and anaesthetists to select cases with us. Limit cases to certain surgeons to increase depth of surgical expertise - Dr Tam amd increase breadth of surgical expertise and add older kids

Equipment: Supplied an infusion driver (x3 cheaper in VN than Aus). The hospital instruments are old and probably what we gave them as single use last time. The equipment money is much better spent in Vietnam.
Cultural insights:
Director of Medical Services having dinner with a driver and talking about house-hunting.
Patient billing: Every single thing is itemised in VND and every person operated on has an individual spreadsheet. The parents sign in recovery to agree to the charges.
Discharge logistics
Distrust of medical system and co-payments; If you have the money you get certain sorts of treatment and if you haven’t you don’t.
They get paid very poorly, the nurses get paid about 600,000 VND/ month and junior dr about 1.5 m VND/ month.  Cleaners in a hotel get 2-3mVND/month.  No overtime or penalty rates and salary varies from week to week depending on Dept of Health (eg a contract is signed or something good has happened). They have a lomng lunch (11.30 -1.30)
Privacy: Strangers join in group or private conversations. If we are examining some child’s groin, 2 or 3 mothers come on over and check it out. People stand right next to you and lean on you and you have none of your own space. Even the men are all touchy/feely with each other.
We felt a bit guilty about the screening because there were quite a few kids who fell into the category of discretionary surgery. Since we were not here to do discretionary surgery, I said "bye" while Peter, Sandy and the other nurses were being bored to tears. When it came to making up the list there were not enough cases to make up. So I said that we should do those kids. However, because I didn’t understand the system properly, they had sent them home without getting any contact details. There are clearly things that we should find out, because we are definitely disadvantaging people who could have benefited from surgery particularly as it is free to them.
From what we understand, the process of becoming a surgeon here is reasonably rigorous and reasonably difficult.  There are a lot of things handed down here and that they have “learnt” is what you do. Why someone does "that” is what their boss told them. 
Dr Sinh adapts with what we suggest - although it takes some time for things to filter through.


Funderaising "Trash and treasure", Trivia night, Lake Macquarie Pvte hospital
Rotary club of Maitland have agreed to “support” this project now and in the future.

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