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New health minister and Hà Nội leader appointed

VIETNAM, July 15 -  

HÀ NỘI — The Politburo appointed a new acting Health Minister and Deputy Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee on Friday, replacing the two former officials who have been arrested for their involvement in the COVID-19 test kit scandal.

Secretary of Bắc Ninh Party Committee Đào Hồng Lan will serve as Acting Minister of Health and Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Việt Nam Trần Sỹ Thanh will become Deputy Secretary of Hà Nội Party Committee, and has been selected to stand for the role of Chairman of Hà Nội’s People’s Committee.

Born in 1971 in the northern province of Hải Dương, Acting Minister of Health Lan has a master’s degree in economics and is currently a member of the Central Party Committee. She previously served as Deputy Director, Deputy Chief and then Chief of the Social Insurance Department at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).

She then became Deputy MoLISA Minister and Vice Secretary of the Bắc Ninh Province's Party Committee in the 2015-20 tenure.

Lan was Party Secretary of Bắc Ninh Province for the 2020-25 tenure, starting in July 2021. A separate decision issued on Thursday by the Politburo removed her from this post.

In her remarks, the new acting health minister Lan said: “I do not come from a healthcare background. Taking on this role, everything is new to me, but with a responsibility to the Party, the public, and the 500,000 people in the health sector, I will do my best, maintaining the devotion of generations of doctors, mobilising the wisdom of the whole sector, implementing solutions to overcome immediate difficulties and for the long-term development of the sector.”

Thanh moves into the position of former chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee and Deputy Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Chu Ngọc Anh.

Thanh was born in 1971 and was a member of the 11th, 12th and 13th party central committee, and a deputy to the 14th and 15th National Assembly.

He has served as Deputy General Director of the State Treasury, under the Ministry of Finance, Secretary of the Party Committee of Bắc Giang and Lạng Sơn provinces, and Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Việt Nam.

The two newly appointed leaders will replace former minister Nguyễn Thanh Long and former Hà Nội’s People’s Committee chairman Anh, who are both under investigation for mismanagement and facilitating medical firm Việt Á to overstate the price of COVID-19 test kits.

The scandal has led to the arrest of nearly 70 people, mostly health officials, from across the country. This case has also resulted in a shortage of drugs and medical equipment in State facilities as the procurement agencies are fearful of wrongdoings. VNS