Constituents want more than a candid answer from the PM

Published: 01/02/2010 05:00

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VietNamNet talks with Deputy Tran Thi Quoc Khanh, who posed three questions to the Prime Minister during the National Assembly’s last session.

I and many other deputies and constituents wished for a law to ban doctors from taking money and gifts from patients and their families before or during the treatment process. Of course, if after the course of treatment, the patients are grateful, they can show their gratitude to doctors then . . . .

The law as passed only bans “bribery and receiving bribes and acting as go-betweens for bribes in medical examination and treatment.” And that’s not a criminal act unless two million dong or more is involved.

People complain that almost everyone who uses a public hospital must give ‘envelopes’ to doctors and nurses, from tens of thousands to as much as a million dong in order to be examined promptly, to receive an injection or have one’s bandages changed painlessly.

Right after the NA session, a meeting on dealing with corruption in the medical sector was organized. Lots of people called for an end to the ‘envelopes.’ The voters will be paying close attention to the Government’s implementing instructions for the new law, hoping that they address this problem.

But I still wish the law were strict on this point from the beginning.

VietNamNet: How do you prepare for each NA session? At the last session, you expressed opinions on the bills on nuclear power, food safety and the implementation of civil judgments.

Khanh: Before each season, NA deputies must meet with constituents to collect their opinions. Often the voters are quite agitated. We have to promise to them that we will report their opinions to the NA and the Government. However, we have decided which of these issues are of most general concern to report to the NA.

Before each Assembly session, the NA Office sends a lot of documents to deputies and we have to read these, discuss and comment on them. These are important documents that address the country’s key issues.

Apart from researching documents to contribute to the NA’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment’s evaluation report, I have to prepare to speak in groups and at the NA plenary sessions.

Before each session, we deputies feel a lot of enthusiasm for our work.

VietNamNet: The way you describe it, the NA session sounds as stressful as the student exam season. What routine do you follow to concentrate your mind in this period?

Khanh: I aim to be in the best of health during that period because if I’m tired, I will be unable to carefully research documents and make appropriate speeches. I often sleep six hours only a day.

As for my diet, I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly six years. I rely on vegetables, fruits and milk. I think these foods are good for health.

VietNamNet: What are your strengths and weaknesses as a full-time NA deputy?

Khanh: I think I must pay close attention to what’s concerning the people in general, and prepare high quality comments, especially on the execution of the law in a way that both protects the national interest and the legal rights and interests of the people as well.

I’m trained in the law and have worked in various capacities, so I can draw on this experience to build the laws and contribute opinions on the country’s important issues.

I have some weaknesses. For example sometimes I don’t speak as thoroughly or to the point as I wish. I think I need to try harder.

VietNamNet: So, you consider that being outspoken and unafraid of clashes are among your strengths? And it is said that you are not afraid to meet constituents and deal with their petitions, right?

Khanh: Actually, it’s the job of deputies to be outspoken and unafraid of disputes. We must merit the trust of our constituents.

VietNamNet: What are your wishes for yourself and for the NA?

Khanh: I always wish that the National Assembly will play its role well as the highest state power, representing the people’s will and aspiration. It’s good if there are many specialized NA deputies with broad knowledge, and would be even better if the NA were to provide staff support for the full-time NA deputies.

Linh Lan

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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