ClockSaturday, 01/07/2023 13:48

Giving sight, bringing smiles

TTH.VN - That is not only a 'slogan' of Hue Eye Hospital but also the goal and dedication for nearly 40 years of the Excellent Doctor, Specialist Level 2, Doctor Pham Minh Truong. He is also the first ophthalmologist in Vietnam to receive the title of "Hero in the prevention of blindness" by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in 2017.

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Today, Ms. Ho Thi B. in Phu Thuan commune, Phu Vang district, Thua Thien Hue brought her son Nguyen V.Q. for treatment by appointment. Two years ago, Q.'s eyesight suddenly decreased. Ms. B.'s heart ached when her son tripped and fell constantly. Q. suddenly couldn't read books like his peers. The light gradually closed, an innocent child had to live in the dark, scared by cataracts.

The mother who works as a fisherman came to Hue Eye Hospital with her heart full of worries due to their precarious living situation and the expenses for her son's treatment. However, the free surgery program for poor children helped Q. find the light again. The poor mother seemed to have removed the burden in her heart. The first sentence of the coastal student after removing the bandages was "I see you! I see you, mom! I can read, mom!"

Q. is one of thousands of poor children across the country benefiting from free eye surgery programs for poor children of Hue Eye Hospital. Unlucky children not only have the opportunity to treat and care for their eyes for free, but also have all their accommodation and travel expenses sponsored.

 Screening for children with eye diseases at the Pediatric Eye Center

Also in a nervous mood, Mr. Vo Van Hoan, a parent in Binh Dinh province, crouched in the corner of the waiting room when his daughter Vo Thi B.D. was examined and assessed by the Director of Hue Eye Hospital – Dr. Pham Minh Truong. 15 minutes later, the austere father's face relaxed, he trembled and took his daughter with the nurse to complete the hospital admission procedure.

“My daughter is 16 years old and has an eyelid tumor. She has had heart surgery. Taking advantage of the summer school holiday, we immediately went to Hue for her check-up. Our family's situation is difficult, so when I heard that Dr. Truong directed that we could be prioritized for inpatient scheduling and surgery, I was extremely happy. I hope my daughter find her eyesight soon and gain confidence."

Not only do disadvantaged children benefit, tens of thousands of elderly people receive free medical examination, consultation and medicine. Dr. Pham Minh Truong himself operated and brought eyesight back for many cataract patients within the program "Bright eyes for the elderly".

Each surgery evokes in the director of Hue Eye Hospital many emotions. In the project "Enhancing community eye care capacity", he decided to immediately have the eye surgery for the Pako lady Ho Thi Tam in A Luoi upland district (Thua Thien Hue) within 1 day. Ms. Tam is a former military nurse who spent her youth serving in the resistance war. If she had not had the surgery immediately, she would have been blind forever...

A few hours after the surgery, she walked confidently back to the wooden house smiling and looking at her grandchildren whose faces she had never seen before. In that moment, Dr. Truong understood the mission of the medical profession and two words: medical ethics. He confided: “The two words medical ethics are very sacred. To have medical ethics, it is necessary to experience and practice. If you uphold medical ethics, it will be difficult to get rich, but in return, you will receive love and respect from society that many professions do not have."

On the journey of being an eye specialist, Dr. Pham Minh Truong could not remember all the patients he has helped. Staying on his chosen path despite having to go through many ups and downs, he said, he is lucky to be dedicated to the profession and to accompany the hospital from the beginning until today.

Initially, Dr. Truong was just an itinerant surgery and blindness prevention surgeon at the Provincial Eye Station. In 1996, he became the main doctor of the station and has accompanied the development of the unit hitherto.

Remembering those arduous days and the volunteer trips to remote areas to help people regain their eyesight and transfer techniques to eye doctors in the Central - Central Highlands regions are still imprinted in his minds. He said that poor people gave him the motivation to learn new techniques and bring free eye care projects to the people during his professional journey.

In addition, his friends and colleagues inspired him to constantly improve his medical skills and practice medical ethics. A Dutch expert accepted to walk in the cold for 2 days to treat the eyes of the people of Nepal; A Japanese professor spent his savings to buy eye surgery equipment for the poor in Vietnam… Why did they sacrifice their abundance and leisure to focus on poor patients? This made him more devoted to studying, dedicating and serving the profession.

The living and working environment fostered his love and care for the sick because he understood the pain and disadvantages they experienced. This is also thoroughly understood by Dr. Truong during his tours in the reception areas and customer care department.

Many difficult cases proposed by the faculties and departments were treated for free by the hospital, and patients were even taken home by car. Almost everyone at the hospital knows the story of a poor woman who had not been able to see for 3 years. After being operated on both eyes by Dr. Truong, she went on to sell scraps and fetch water again. Every New Year, she stopped by to give the doctor a few pounds of watermelon seeds saying

"Thanks to you, I can work again and earn money to support my family"!

"Rich with two eyes, difficult with two hands", the old saying is still valid as a reminder to preserve and protect the eyes - the window to the soul of many people... With experience and enthusiasm, Dr. Pham Minh Truong turned it into a "motto" reminding himself and the medical team: "Skillful hands, bright eyes". In each briefing session, Dr. Truong emphasized taking care of the patient's eyes like taking care of their own eyes, thereby transmitting the fire of enthusiasm, love and responsibility to all hospital staff.

“When the hospital was still at the old address, he only left the office at 10 pm every night to go home. I learned from him his passion and dedication to his work. With the new, he devoted himself to research and apply. He also has the audacity to dare to think, to act, and to take responsibility, which is rare in a leader today," a senior doctor in the profession proudly commented on his colleague.

Currently, Hue Eye Hospital has become one of the four leading ophthalmology hospitals in the country, a learning model of many units nationwide. 99% of modern equipment for treatment at the hospital is funded by non-governmental organizations. There are foreign projects that overlap for 3 consecutive years. For the past 10 years, the unit has effectively maintained the project of free eye surgery for poor children… This great achievement marks the dedication of Dr. Truong.

Whenever he heard there was a program or a project, he would seek it out. He himself also participated in many surgical activities to serve the community.

When asked for his secret, he laughed: "I have foreign language skills from my years of studying abroad, so it is easy to communicate. I know what we have and know what our partners need. If you work hard and try your best, you will meet the requirements of the project. That way I can create trust."

One of the important contributions to the community of Dr. Pham Minh Truong is the successful implementation of the initiative to build a lower-level eye care network, establishing 6 refraction centers at district level, bringing eye care services closer to the people.

In addition, through networking, he collaborated with Orbis Vietnam to successfully organize the "Flying Hospital" program 3 times in Hue, providing training opportunities in the field of ophthalmology for doctors around the country by the world's leading experts on the DC - 10 aircraft.

20 years ago, patients in the Central - Central Highlands regions generally had to go to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City for cataract treatment, but now, they choose modern Phaco surgery at Hue Eye Hospital. On average, each year, the hospital welcomes 6,500 cases of examination and surgery; 70% of them are Phaco surgery. Patient Vinh Long, 69 years old, from Hue city returned to the hospital for the second time for eye surgery.

He said: “I was well taken care of, treated in a luxury service area like a hotel. In just a few days, I was discharged from the hospital. My eyes were bright again and I could resume my normal activities. This happiness is satisfaction for my old age”.

Mr. Michael, a British patient, assessed: "I want to give 10 points for the eye examination and surgery service of Hue Eye Hospital. My two eye surgeries 2 months apart both went very well, the treatment results are very good. As a person living far away from home, I am really grateful to receive thoughtful and affectionate health care from you."

Having good service, attracting many patients for treatment, building a prestigious ophthalmology hospital brand in the region and becoming a specialized eye hospital of the North Central region as today is a persistent effort of Dr. Truong with a team of highly qualified and well-trained staff. Pioneering in building a culture of professional, humane, patient-centered behavior, the survey and assessment of quality at Hue Eye Hospital take place quarterly. In recent years, the patient satisfaction rate for hospital services has increased year by year (Inpatient: 99.17%, Outpatient: 96%).

 Service is improving day by day. Patient satisfaction rates range from 96 to 99%

At the end of 2018, Hue Eye Hospital was partially self-sufficient, now it has 100% autonomy for recurrent expenses. “On the road of financial autonomy, I see the responsibility and pressure of the leader. Innovation for development, self-reliance is the general trend; only in this way can we create dynamism and promote development,” affirmed the Director of Hue Eye Hospital.

Autonomy entails a specialized technical area, a hotel-standard comprehensive care area, a "Green-Clean-Beautiful" hospital, and a model of the first international standard pediatric eye center in Vietnam and the only one in the Central region… All of these initiatives bear the imprint of Dr. Pham Minh Truong.

Bachelor of Nursing Le Thi Thuy Trang, who has worked at Eye Hospital for nearly 15 years, cannot hide her admiration for the unit's leader. “At my hospital, in addition to salary, officials and employees also earn an income equivalent to 1 month's salary. My working motto is also shaped and inspired by a lifelong leader who dedicates himself to patients like Dr. Truong," Ms. Trang confided.

 Dr. Pham Minh Truong receiving the title "Hero for the prevention of blindness" awarded by the World Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in 2017

Appreciating a doctor who is dedicated and devoted to patients, Japanese eye specialist Tadashi Hattori has kept a close relationship with Dr. Pham Minh Truong for the past 20 years, and regularly coordinates with Hue Eye Hospital to organize free examination and treatment for the poor as well as transfer modern techniques to the medical team here.

Mr. Tadashi Hattori said: “Every time I come back, I see that the team's skills have improved markedly. For difficult cases, doctors can do it themselves. The cooperation and transfer over the years have really been effective.”

 Signing the project " Giving sight, bringing smiles" worth USD 200,000, supported by The Asia Prevention of Blindness Association, bringing treatment opportunities to many disadvantaged children across the country

“My impression of Dr. Pham Minh Truong is the heart of a qualified doctor. With his heart in the profession, he became a good "captain", steering Hue Eye Hospital to greatness. Particularly, the initiative helps the prevention of blindness in general and people with eye diseases in particular to benefit from treatment. Not stopping there, this passionate doctor also creates a working environment "with the heart", helping employees to live and devote to the profession in a meaningful way," Director of the Department of Health Tran Kiem Hao added.

Hue Eye Hospital is now building another 5-storey building with 150-200 beds to meet the increasing needs of patients. People say: "The hospital is getting bigger and bigger, but Dr. Truong hasn't changed at all!" He laughed: “My heart and energy are devoted to the path I have chosen. How can people avoid aging when they get old? Looking at the growth of the hospital, I already see myself in it."



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