Hanoi, Vietnam

Kon Tum, Vietnam

One evening a Vietnamese friend told me of a man who had started his own orphanage.  In Vietnam, in addition to abortions, young girls will give birth and leave the newborn babies in churches or hospital lobbies.  This man started collecting these babies and taking care of them himself.  This intrigued me and we went to visit him.  He had over 30 babies under the age of three years old.  He also had four newborns.  He obtained volunteer help from young girls in his neighborhood.  He is not funded by the Vietnamese government but was designated an official orphanage.  After the age of three, these children are then sent to a Catholic orphanage where they stay until the age of 18.  The main financial problems he has is buying Pampers, formula, and various toiletries.  We then took several taxis and delivered them.  Because I never give money to Vietnamese institutions, I'm trying to arrange a system for regularly having needed items delivered to this orphanage.

The project that they proposed to me was to try to provide surgeons at the higher echelon of their field to teach their physicians.  They wanted robotic surgeons, Laparoscopic surgeons, transplant surgeons, and pediatric surgeons in all fields.  They gave me an excellent idea of the types of cases they wished to treat.  In other words they wanted to improve their degree of excellence in highly technical fields.  I'm in the process of arranging the symposium for next year which will be both didactic and practical.  The members of my team will perform surgical cases with Vietnamese doctors.

Next we went to Kon Tum which is situated at the junction of the borders of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  We had last visited this province hospital in 2005.  Becaues of their location at the junction of the borders of three countries, the political situation was a little unstable.  Last year we were invited to return.  On our first visit I had donated a complete surgical system for doing prostatic surgery including a video set up.  The surgeons at that time had no idea how to do prostatic surgery.  To my delight, the doctors had learned the technique and were very expert.  Because of their expertise with this procedure, the local government had obtained a laser with which to operate on urinary stones.  They now had a very sophisticated knowledge of urology and urologic surgery.  We did surgical cases together and it was very gratifying for me to see their progress.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Vietnam 2012

In February of 2012 we had a very interesting visit to Vietnam.  I have an American friend who lives in Saigon and whose job is to raise money to finance open heart surgery for Vietnamese children.  He informed me that the Minister of Health of Vietnam had requested that I visit the Viet Dung hospital in Hanoi.  I arrange my visit to start in Hanoi and was surprised when the hospital staff met me at the airport.

Physicians in Suc Son hospital, 100 kilometers east of Hanoi

The next morning I met with the medical director of the hospital and the Chiefs of all the surgical departments.  This hospital is the main surgical referral hospital for the northern half of Vietnam.  They receive cases from the central part of Vietnam to the Chinese border.  They perform over 35,000 major surgical procedures a year.  They train surgeons and also teach medical students.  Their responsibility is also to go to the distance provinces where they send doctors to aid the local physicians.

We also visited a remote province hospital that has very little equipment and very little surgical expertise.  The doctors were very receptive and eager to participate with us.  I will be obtaining equipment to donate to Suc Son hospital and then schedule cases with them.

We then went to Nha Trang where we've had a program for many years.  They've only recently started doing screening for cancer of the prostate and I'm trying to establish a Prostatic Cancer Institute there.  It's been a slow process and I would like to establish both a surgical and radiation treatment facility.