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Letter of thanks

I've never known anyone to say that they feel happy to go to a hospital. Sure, if you're going to visit a friend or loved one perhaps, but not if you yourself are the one who may require some medical treatment. It's just not a "happy" occasion. In fact, many would say that it's scary to go to a hospital. That being said, let me tell you my story as it relates to Van Hanh Hospital.

August 1, 2019

To the good people of Van Hanh Hospital,


I've never known anyone to say that they feel happy to go to a hospital. Sure, if you're going to visit a friend or loved one perhaps, but not if you yourself are the one who may require some medical treatment. It's just not a "happy" occasion. In fact, many would say that it's scary to go to a hospital. That being said, let me tell you my story as it relates to Van Hanh Hospital.

I am a non-Vietnamese speaking English teacher. Unfortunately I am also chronically ill and need at least monthly medical care. I'm in Viet Nam because I love the country, the culture and mostly the people.

When I first came, I did what I think most foreigners who are ill do and went to all the well-known "foreigner" hospitals. I guess we just assume that the quality of care and service will be more recognizable, more comforting. Well, without naming names, I tried my share. I almost always walked away unsatisfied. I never felt that I was being cared for. Rather treated, and sent away. In fairness I suppose that most foreigners are here for a short time and so wouldn't be expected to be seen again. No relationship required. But that wasn't me. I started trying the more common hospitals. Of course it didn't help that I don't speak or understand much of the native language, but, regardless, I just never felt comfortable with my visits. Something was missing.

One day a student suggested Van Hanh Hospital to me. Why not? It's not far from my home and I hadn't tried it yet.
Thinking back now to several years ago when I first went to Van Hanh Hospital I remember how organized and efficient the folks were who managed all the motorbike parking in front of the hospital entrance. I remember the workers who carefully cleaned the floors and areas around the many people coming and going and I remember a sign on the wall above an information area that read, Người Bệnh Trên Hết, Patient First.

My destination that day was to the fifth floor where medical check-ups for foreigners are performed and it appears that many local companies send their employees there for preliminary health screening or yearly check-ups. I was there for what I knew was continuous care and not a one time hello - goodbye. Where I come from, when you are sick, you don't go to the hospital. You go to your doctor’s office. Hospitals are for emergencies. The doctor’s office is a place where everyone knows you. The hospital is much less personal. I'm not saying that the way it's done here or there is better than the other. It's just different. And I was hoping for an experience more like the former than the latter.

It's been years since my first visit, and Van Hanh Hospital is the only medical care facility I will use or recommend. And let me tell you why. From the folks managing the motorbike parking out front, to the workers keeping the common area clean. The always busy, yet helpful pharmacy workers. The security personnel who are always doing something to help. Whether giving directions, pushing a wheel chair or holding an elevator door. All of these workers performing so efficiently, in a chaotic environment, with a smile on their faces. This, to me, is comforting and helps to make what "should" or "could" be a scary experience, not so scary. I feel safe and comforted knowing that such good people are managing these day to day activities in such a pleasant way.

I really can't say enough about my experience up on the fifth floor where I've spent so much time. Everyone, and i do mean EVERYONE who I've interacted with there were efficient, professional, warm and kind in the way I've been treated. The girls who manage the office, the nurse who painlessly takes your blood, the ultrasound operators, eye doctor...........everyone is just wonderful and a credit to the uniforms they wear.

However, I do need to give some special recognition to a few folks who have really made my visits to Van Hanh Hospital pleasing, comforting and very satisfying. On the fifth floor, reception desk attendant Vũ Phương Uyên is always helpful, greeting with a smile and has a firm handle on the ins and outs of the floor. If you need to know, ask her! Nurse Mai Thį Hà Thu and especially Nurse Đào Thị Kiều. Sure, they see me once a month, but they see how many hundreds, thousands of visitors every month? Yet, they know me. I'm not just a number. There's always a smile. Always showing a little extra care. At least that's how they make me feel. And that's exactly what a patient wants and needs. To feel less stress and more comfort. I know they are doing their jobs, but they do it so well that it seems more like family and not the cold, sterile nature of the typical image of a hospital. I have to give special thanks to these three girls for the wonderful job they do and the warm hearted way in which they do it.

Some months ago I started seeing a different doctor on the fifth floor. Doctor Nguyễn Thị Thiên Hà. In all my life I'd never had a female doctor so I was a little nervous. I have to say that she has satisfied me more than any doctor I've been associated with. She is always pleasant and caring. She asks questions and explains things to me in a way that makes me feel completely confident that I'm getting the care that I need. With Doctor Hà, I feel like a patient, not a number. Compared to my experience with doctors in my home country, she goes above and beyond and has exceeded my expectations of what a true, good doctor can be. And for her I am grateful.

A few months ago I discovered an abdominal lump, which through ultrasound was found to be an inguinal hernia. Not something terrible. Not something so uncommon, but for my lifestyle and other health conditions, I wanted to have it repaired. Doctor Hà handled me with caution, coordinating with other doctors to see that my kidneys and other conditions could handle surgery.

Now, accompanied by Nurse Đào Thị Kiều, I was taken to meet a Surgeon Đỗ Minh Đại. He was so easy to talk to. He had a wonderful smile a spoke in English perfectly to me about this type of surgery and any concerns I might have. Reviewing all my prior records, he told me exactly how to prepare, what they would do and about recovery. As nervous as I was thinking of open surgery, he made me less so and made me feel quite confident that I was in the right, professional, good hands. After surgery, he and his staff visited me regularly and even came by to say goodbye even though he was in his scrubs on his way to another surgical procedure. Doctor ĐạI, his staff and the girls on the recovery floor made me feel welcome and comfortable. I am grateful to them all.

You could say that in all my examples that the people were just "doing their jobs". But I would disagree. I have tried to express not just the expert competency, but perhaps more importantly, the feelings experienced because of the "way" in which those jobs were performed. That is what in my experience differentiates Van Hanh Hospital from the others. It's the people.

So to Vũ Phương Uyên, Đào Thị Kiều, Mai Thį Hà Thu, Nguyễn Thị Thiên Hà, Đỗ Minh Đại and the many others who work so hard to make Van Hanh Hospital the best, I say Cảm ơn nhiều!

I'm sorry for such a long read, but I have deeply fond feelings towards Van Hanh Hospital and the warm hearted, good people who make it a wonderful place
In your mission statement, "To achieve the highest levels of patient satisfaction", you have exceeded this. Your vision statement, I believe you are meeting. You clearly show your core values and your CARE values are quite evident.
The sign says, Người Bệnh Trên Hết, Patient First and I believe that the management and staff of Van Hanh Hospital are 100% behind those words.

I would appreciate it if you would share this letter with the hospital staff and recognize in some way those who I have named in this letter. Of course, please use this letter in any way you see fit to help promote Van Hanh Hospital and it's outstanding ability to make the foreigner feel at home.

With all sincerity and eternal gratitude,
Henry   ******
18082764
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VAN HANH GENERAL HOSPITAL
Address: 781/B1-B3-B5 Le Hong Phong Street, Ward 12, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City , Viet Nam
Tel: (+84) 028 38632553
(+84) 028 38632554
Email: benhvienvanhanh@gmail.com

VAN HANH GENERAL EXAMINATION AREA
Address: 700 (72 - 74) Su Van Hanh Street, Ward 12. District 10, Ho Chi Minh City , VietNam
Tel: (84) 028 6299 5021 - 3863 1272

Fax: (+84) 28 62934190
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159 Trần Quốc Thảo Street, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam
Tel: (+84) 028 3931-8376, (+84) 028 3935-1434

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207 Điện Biên Phủ Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam
Tel: (+84) 028 3829-5625, (84) 028 5404-1294, (84) 028 5404-1295, (84) 028 5404-1296

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