The British Friendship Hospital was officially opened in 1980 with the help of funds and equipment donated by MSAVLC. It replaced the District Hospital which had been destroyed by bombs during the American war. Since that time MSAVLC has given financial assistance to the hospital to help them buy much needed drugs, medical equipment and ambulances. The charity has also organised medical student electives and overseen the endowment of beds for the hospital. Generous legacies have enabled us to equip a new paediatric wing and extend the children’s ward.
Ky Anh District is in the Province of Ha Tinh, one of the poorest Provinces in Vietnam. It has adverse weather conditions with harsh cold winters and hot dry summers. The Province is frequently affected by typhoons and tropical storms, causing havoc to the community, its people, crops and buildings. The British Friendship Hospital has, in the past, suffered from the effects of typhoons and flooding, and MSAVLC have given financial aid to restore the damaged buildings and equipment. Most of the people in the Province scrape a living from the land, but poverty is great, and life is hard. In these conditions illness and disease are common, and the hospital is a vital part of the community.
The hospital has recently been upgraded, and in 2013 they had to deal with double the patients that they had the previous year, and some patients had to share a bed. This increase is due partly to a rising population, but mostly to the building of a new port nearby, and an increase in foreign workers who need treatment. Unfortunately these workers also bring new diseases to Ky Anh, such as viruses, bird flu and STD’s. There are problems for the staff through language difficulties as many of their patients now do not speak Vietnamese. There are also problems dealing with the death of foreigners in the hospital, and their payment for treatment. Furthermore there are more accident cases to be dealt with, particularly traffic and construction accidents, and the hospital’s workload has greatly increased.
However, the staff of the hospital work extremely hard and due to a legacy left to us by Joan McMichael; prizes are awarded annually for good performance. It is considered to be a great honour to be chosen, and in the past these prizes were in the form of two live chickens. The hospital is extremely well run and we are proud to continue to help them whenever possible.
British Friendship Hospital
A bed supplied by MSAVLC thanks to a generous donation from Mr G Hardy
Equipment supplied by MSAVLC
2015 – UPDATE
Since the present Trustees’ first visit, the British Friendship Hospital has been transformed and is now much bigger with more equipment and more patients. However the staff numbers have not kept pace with the hospital’s expansion and the doctors were dreadfully overloaded with work. The Trustees toured the hospital and were shown all of the equipment which had been bought since 2013. Most of it was in use and there were many patients there who had obviously benefitted from our aid.
There was a long queue down the corridor of the radiography department, with some, very ill patients queuing for x-rays. There were 2 x-ray machines, but one had broken down, and MSAVLC have agreed to purchase a new one.
It is 50 years since MSAVLC was founded and the Trustees planted a tree in the hospital grounds to