Last update 8/3/2011 1:30:00 PM (GMT+7)
  

SOCIETY IN BRIEF 3/8

Support for mental health

Patients suffering from mental illnesses are set to receive better care in accordance with a new 2011-20 Government scheme valued at nearly VND8.4 trillion (US$400 million).

Around 90 per cent of mental patients, especially those prone to violence and those made homeless, are expected to receive treatment at rehabilitation centres, according to new incentives also aimed at raising common awareness on mental health problems.

Under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), three large-scale centres for mentally disabled patients are planned to be set up in the north, south and centre of the country alongside an additional 20 smaller centres to add to the 20 existing ones.

Patients exercise at the northern province of Ninh Binh's Nho Quan Invalids Nursing Centre. Mental patients will get better care thank to Government support. (Photo: VNS)

"The centres will help meet the needs of mental patients throughout the country," said Nguyen Xuan Hoi, deputy head of MoLISA's Department of Social Protection.

The centres were expected to help mental patients, many of whom are refused entry to established mental institutions, re-integrate into society focussing on both mental and physical aspects of management and recovery, Hoi said.

At least 10 pilot models are set to be implemented along with the development of new centres, rolled out according to demand and success.

Social and health care workers are also to receive improved training in order to better assist mental patients.

At present, around 7,700 communes have implemented training courses with assistance from qualified doctors, said La Duc Cuong, director of the National Psychiatric Hospital No 1 in Son Tay, Ha Noi.

"Rehabilitation has proved very effective. While around 33 provinces have psychiatric treatment centres, however, there are still not nearly enough," Cuong said.

Cuong's hospital is one of only two national hospitals in the country, the other situated in southern Dong Nai Province.

While there were currently around 600 patients receiving treatment at the National Psychiatric Hospital No 1, the hospital had been trying to lower its number of inpatients to focus on outpatients instead. Last year, on average, each inpatient underwent two-months of treatment, which has been reduced to 48 days during the first six months of the year, Cuong said.

Though the hospital had sufficient equipment for diagnosis, it still required more for rehabilitation purposes, the doctor added, saying that, as a result, the hospital has called on the Ministry of Health to invest in its new five - year development plan.

Insulted bike stuntman attacks spectator, killed

After falling off a motorbike while performing stunts on a Ho Chi Minh City Street, an amateur stuntman angrily attacked an onlooker who he assumed mocked him but was fought back and killed.

City police confirmed the death with VTC newswire Tuesday.

The incident took place at 8:30pm on July 30 on Road No 7 in Binh Tan District’s Binh Tri Dong B ward.

According to VTC, a 21-year-old man named Cuong was speeding across Road No 7 while ‘performing’ bike stunts like wheelie and zigzagging when he fell off due to the slippery road from earlier rains.

Onlookers saw this and laughed.

Feeling insulted, Cuong jumped into the crowd and attacked a young man whose identity has not been released.

But this young man, reported to be 24 years old, fought back. He ran into a bar nearby, broke apart the chair’s leg, took out the iron rod from it and used it to stab Cuong.

The unprofessional motorbike stuntman Cuong died on the way to hospital.

The killer fled but was arrested one day later.

VTC did not provide Cuong’s full name nor describe his job.

Data theft hits 85,000 computers

More than 85,000 personal computers have been infected with the virus botnet Ramnit since the beginning of this year, experts from Bach Khoa Internet Security Company have said.

The hacker is reported to have distributed the virus via all gates including USB, software vulnerabilities, emails and malicious links on instant messaging programs.

Once the computer is attacked, data would be controlled and stolen by the virus, allowing the hacker to access to the victim's mail or bank accounts.

The virus also opens a backdoor through which any data file could be taken.

Police fire shots to stop timber traffickers’ vans

Police and forest rangers in the northern Phu Yen Province yesterday seized two trucks that were carrying timber without the requisite documents after giving chase for more than 50 kilometers and firing warning shots.
The seizure was made following a tip-off from the public, Lieutenant Colonel Ngo Van Hai of the province Anti-Environmental Crime Police Department said.
At 2 am yesterday environmental police officers and rangers in Tuy An District signaled two vans on National Highway 25 to stop, but they sped past.
The officials began to give chase and called a police unit in Chi Thanh town for reinforcement.
One of the vans was later stopped in the town, about 40 km from Tuy An, and found to be carrying 8 cubic meters of narra wood.
The driver, Nguyen Van Em, 29, of Binh Dinh Province, failed to produce documents indicating its origin.

Meanwhile, the other van knocked down a grade-crossing gate that had been closed for a train’s arrival, and continued to speed.
It was not until the police fired five shots that the truck driver stopped his vehicle. But then he got off the vehicle and fled into Song Cau Town, 10 kilometers from Chi Thanh.
The police found 27 pyinma logs in the van.
They seized all the timber, detained Em, and are hunting for the escaped driver.

Plan to promote gender equality

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a five-year national plan that will significantly improve awareness of and attitude to gender equality and promote it in all workplaces including the higher echelons of the Government.

A report posted on the Government's website says the programme will, step-by-step, bridge the gender gap, particularly in fields where gender inequality is high at the moment.

The programme will be implemented nationwide through five projects, the first of which will spread the message of gender equality to 70 per cent of the State's employees, labourers, servicemen, students at all levels and residents.

The second project will open training courses for management staff and officials specialising in gender equality, set up a database as well as a mechanism for assessing the implementation of related laws. These steps aim to improve the State's management capacity and effectiveness in fostering gender equality.

The third project will help female representatives of the National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels improve their qualifications and skills. It will also help aspiring female candidates to national and local legislative bodies prepare for attaining membership for the 2016-20 term.

Under the fourth project, five pilot models will be established to address and reduce gender inequality in localities where it is highly prevalent.

The models will focus on supporting women to get jobs or do business; building nursery homes at offices, vocational centres, industrial and export processing zones in order to facilitate female employment and provide better working conditions; preventing and mitigating domestic violence impacts; supporting communes to set up and amend regulations on gender equality; and providing counselling services on gender equality for ethnic minorities residing in mountainous areas.

Social work centres will be established in the country's four major regions under the fifth project. The centres will provide many services related to promoting gender parity, including the provision of shelter and support for needy women.

The total capital of the programme is estimated at VND955 billion (US$46 million), most of which will be sourced from the State budget.

Fake Apple stores mushroom in Vietnam

Stores using the Apple logo or its look-alike to sell products without authorization have been mushrooming in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
In Ho Chi Minh City, there is a store called iShop on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Viscom and Fashion Mobi on Ba Thang Hai Street with sign boards, logos, shop decorations similar to an Apple store. However, they only import products and resell to buyers without any agreement with Apple.
Many stores claim they are Apple authorized agents but in fact their store names and addresses cannot be found on Apple’s website.
The iStore Premium (istorepremium.vn) in Ho Chi Minh City’s Vincom Center is not included in the list of Apple premium resellers. However, the Apple logo is used on their website (istorepremium.vn) and member cards.
Similarly in Hanoi, the iStore Care (istorevn.vn) chain with its shops on Nguyen Du, Kham Thien and Xa Dan streets is not authorized by Apple although they publicly announce they are the first standard Apple care center in Vietnam.
Trang Trung Tri, CEO of JEL Corp, a distributor for Apple in Vietnam said currently, there are 37 retailers and 7 service providers in Vietnam that have been listed on Apple’s website. However, only 12 among them are still in operation. There are four authorized premium resellers including iCenter and FutureWorld in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Apple is now organizing and filtering resellers in Vietnam and will discontinue contracts of more than 20 resellers.
According to Tri, it is rather difficult to be authorized to sell Apple products. In addition, each reseller, either premium or not, has to sign a contract with Apple, which is controlled tightly and needs to be renewed yearly.
To check if a store is an authorized reseller or not, it is advisable to ask for Apple’s confirmation letter, Tri advised.
Tri also said Apple has a market survey team and holds a list of unauthorized resellers in Vietnam. Those stores in fact hardly affect the sales of Apple but can cause harm to customers.

Flooded streets block traffic in capital city

Heavy rains flooded dozens of streets in Ha Noi early yesterday afternoon, Aug 2, making them impassable, and water overflowed from some of the lakes in the city.

In the worst-flooded streets, including Nguyen Khuyen, Le Trong Tan, Giai Phong, Truong Chinh, Thai Ha, Kim Lien, Nguyen Duc Canh, Pham Hung and Ngoc Khanh, traffic was halted for more than an hour. Vehicles stalled while trying to run through deep water.

"I regret trying to pass this street. The water is so deep," said a man whose motorbike stopped on Thai Thinh Street.

The Ha Noi Water Drainage Company said the capital's drainage system had failed to handle such a huge amount of water in a short period of time (about half an hour) despite efforts to improve the situation earlier this year.

A company officer said they had not expected so many streets to flood.

The city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said water had started to spill over some major lakes in Ha Noi, such as Dong Suong and Van Son in Chuong My District.

Other reservoirs had also become full after four consecutive days of rain caused by tropical Storm Nock-Ten.

The department also reported that water level in some major rivers in the city – Nhue, Tich and Day – was already high.

Deputy chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee Tran Xuan Viet asked that prior notice be given to low-lying areas if reservoirs were to be discharged.

Meanwhile, prolonged rain and whirlwinds that started on Saturday destroyed some 80 houses in the southern province of Long An and resulted in a serious landslide, damaging four shrimp farms, causing losses of billions of dong in Bac Lieu Province.

“Detect-all” scanner may be a scam

Tuoi Tre finds a scanner claimed by a medical center in Ho Chi Minh City to be able to detect many diseases may be a scam.

On July 13, when three Tuoi Tre reporters showed up at Hong Lac Medical Center at 699, Tran Hung Dao Street, District 5 to be diagnosed by the magic scanner, the center was already packed with patients.

A man, wearing a white blouse and a card that reads ‘scanning technician’ called five to six patients to the diagnosis room.

“Remember to remove your jacket and bring along VND250,000 (US$12.5),” he reminded the patients.

N.T.S, a 28-year-old patient from Dong Thap Province’s Hong Ngu District, said people in her district had to hire a car to go to this center for diagnose every two week since “this center has a miraculous machine that can show every organ in your body and detect every disease you are suffering.”

After two hours’ waiting, a Tuoi Tre reporter was called into the room, where the technicians asked him to properly sit on the chair in front of a computer, and quickly placed the electrodes to his thumbs and head.

Then, waves that resemble electrocardiogram waves started to appear on the screen and simulated images of the body’s organs such as the brain, heart and abdomen were shown on the overhead LCD.

A doctor then made a quick medical check on the reporter and pointed to the computer screen, where a 3D image of a human brain was being displayed, telling him that his brain “was in critical conditions.”

The other two undercover reporters were also diagnosed as having several diseases and were given a long prescription that cost VND250,000.

On July 14, Nguyen Minh Son, CEO of Lac Hong Medical Center, affirmed with Tuoi Tre that body scanning was a scientific diagnosing methodology and the machine was imported from the US under the license by the Ministry of Health.

He also said the fee of VND250,000 was reasonable and that the machine had also been used in Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital for a long time.

But the Bach Mai Hospital’s director Nguyen Quoc Anh had denied using such a machine.

Tuoi Tre found out that the machine was imported by HCMC-based Saigon Kim Khanh Company. Its director, Hoang Minh Thang, said the machine cost US$30,000 and showed an import license signed on November 21, 2009 by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien.

The scanner is identified as E.S Teck Complex, which is described on its website as ‘helping doctors to make recommendations and monitor patients being scanned.”

Phan Thanh Hai, director of HCMC-based Medic Medical Center, told Tuoi Tre that his center was also invited to buy the scanner machine two years ago.

He had conducted some experiments to verify the diagnosing effectiveness of the machine, and concluded that it yielded inaccurate results.

“The machine’s diagnosing method lacked a scientific foundation,” he said.

Pham Ngoc Hoa, chairwoman of the Vietnam Image Diagnostic Association, also said there was no machine that could diagnose many diseases at the same time as E.S Teck Complex claimed.

Transsexual detainee raises question about separate detention

The arrest of as a transsexual man in Ho Chi Minh City is raising the question among local authorities of whether transsexual convicts should have their own cells.
Le Van Vu, a transsexual man who has been arrested for using counterfeit money, has put the HCMC police in a dilemma after both male and female prisoners refused to have him in their cells.
According to District 11’s police, Vu’s sex is still shown as male in his ID even though he has undergone a transsexual operation to become a woman.
After both male and female prisoners refused to have Vu, the district police transferred him to the Chi Hoa Detention Camp where a cell of elderly female prisoners agreed to take him in.
A judge at the HCMC Supreme People’s Court said there isn’t any regulation on separate detention for transsexuals and whether a prisoner is put into a cell for men or women depends on his or her sex as indicated on ID documents.
Judge Vu Phi Long, deputy head of the HCMC Criminal Court, agreed. Long said in Vu’s case, even though he is now a woman, his ID still shows he is a man and Vu thus should be kept with other men.
In case Vu wants to be kept with women, he should have his sex as indicated on his personal documents changed, Long said.
Meanwhile, an official at the Chi Hoa Detention Camp said if transsexuals were kept with other prisoners, they might be subject to sexual harassment, physical abuse, or boycott. Therefore, pending regulations on this issue, the official suggested keeping transsexuals in separate cells.
And transsexual men and transsexual women should also be separated, the official added.
Senior inspector Nguyen Thanh Son from the Supreme People’s Court, agreed. He said transsexual prisoners should be kept separately to avoid psychological problems that may arise and affect both them and other prisoners.
“For the time being, separate detention can be carried out without any difficulty,” Son said.
But in the long run, legislative bodies should work out regulations on transsexuals’ detention, he added.

26-member gang in the dock for forgery, swindle

Police from the Ministry of Public Security are set to prosecute 26 members of a Ho Chi Minh City-based gang for allegedly forging bank guarantees and certificates of bank balance to swindle money from companies.
Of them, 12 are directors and deputy directors of private firms but their names have yet to be revealed.
There are also two bank officials – Truong Cong Dung, 45, an HSBC executive in HCMC, and Le Thanh Phong, 29, director of the Tan Binh District Transaction Office of the Gia Dinh Commercial Joint Stock Bank.
The rest, whose identities are not known either, are alleged to have produced the fake documents with the help of the banks officials.
Investigators said the gang used the fake certificates to establish their financial credentials and enter into joint ventures with companies, and pocketed the money their partners brought in as capital.
The total amount they swindled in this manner is not known, but investigators said each fake document was valued at hundreds of millions of dong [VND100 million equals US$4,860].


‘Irresponsible’ newspaper ex-chief faces charges

A former newspaper boss has been prosecuted for allowing two subordinates – also indicted -- to embezzle money.

Phung Hien, 72, previously an editor-in-chief of Nguoi Cao Tuoi (The Elderly People) newspaper, has been charged with “irresponsibility causing serious consequences,” the Supreme People’s Procuracy said.

Hien is also a former deputy chairman of the Vietnamese Association for Elderly.
Tran Duc, a former deputy editor-in-chief, and Hoang Tuyet Oanh, a former cashier, face similar charges.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, another former deputy editor-in-chief and chief accountant, and Nguyen Thi Hoang Ngan, an accountant, face embezzlement charges.

Between March 2004 and March 2007, Thuy and Ngan allegedly drew up false payment vouchers worth around VND380 million (US$18,500) to swindle money, and Hien signed off on them without bothering to check.

He also failed to oversee work to upgrade the newspaper’s head office, causing a loss of VND650 million to the treasury.

Insulted bike stuntman attacks spectator, killed

After falling off a motorbike while performing stunts on a Ho Chi Minh City Street, an amateur stuntman angrily attacked an onlooker who he assumed mocked him but was fought back and killed.

City police confirmed the death with VTC newswire Tuesday.

The incident took place at 8:30pm on July 30 on Road No 7 in Binh Tan District’s Binh Tri Dong B ward.

According to VTC, a 21-year-old man named Cuong was speeding across Road No 7 while ‘performing’ bike stunts like wheelie and zigzagging when he fell off due to the slippery road from earlier rains.

Onlookers saw this and laughed.

Feeling insulted, Cuong jumped into the crowd and attacked a young man whose identity has not been released.

But this young man, reported to be 24 years old, fought back. He ran into a bar nearby, broke apart the chair’s leg, took out the iron rod from it and used it to stab Cuong.

The unprofessional motorbike stuntman Cuong died on the way to hospital.

The killer fled but was arrested one day later.

VTC did not provide Cuong’s full name nor describe his job.

Police fire shots to stop timber traffickers’ vans

Police and forest rangers in the northern Phu Yen Province yesterday seized two trucks that were carrying timber without the requisite documents after giving chase for more than 50 kilometers and firing warning shots.

The seizure was made following a tip-off from the public, Lieutenant Colonel Ngo Van Hai of the province Anti-Environmental Crime Police Department said.

At 2 am yesterday environmental police officers and rangers in Tuy An District signaled two vans on National Highway 25 to stop, but they sped past.

The officials began to give chase and called a police unit in Chi Thanh town for reinforcement.

One of the vans was later stopped in the town, about 40 km from Tuy An, and found to be carrying 8 cubic meters of narra wood.

The driver, Nguyen Van Em, 29, of Binh Dinh Province, failed to produce documents indicating its origin.

The grade-crossing gate knocked down by one of the two timber traffickers' vans yesterday

Meanwhile, the other van knocked down a grade-crossing gate that had been closed for a train’s arrival, and continued to speed.

It was not until the police fired five shots that the truck driver stopped his vehicle. But then he got off the vehicle and fled into Song Cau Town, 10 kilometers from Chi Thanh.

The police found 27 pyinma logs in the van.

They seized all the timber, detained Em, and are hunting for the escaped driver.

Cu Huy Ha Vu sentenced to 7 years in prison

Cu Huy Ha Vu was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years on parole for conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam after a court concluded at 7pm Tuesday in capital Hanoi.

Vu was defended by four lawyers Tranh Dinh Trien, Tran Vu Hai, Vuong Thi Thanh and Tran Quoc Thuan.

After four hours, Nguyen Van Son, the chairman of Hanoi's Supreme Court said there is no basis to cancel the verdict from the first trial and sentenced him seven years in prison and three years on parole.

According to the indictment from the Hanoi People’s Procuracy, from 2009 to October 2010, Vu wrote many anti-State articles and posted them on the Internet as well as gave incorrect information at interviews.

In those articles and interviews, Vu distorted and maligned Party and State guidelines and policies, defamed the administration and State institutions, and blackened the Vietnamese people’s resistance wars.

In addition, Vu demanded Article 4 of the Vietnam’s Constitution be abolished.

VNN/VNS/Tuoi Tre

 
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