In more than 24 years of wearing a white coat, for Dr. Pham Ba Hien, 48, Director of Dong Da General Hospital, the greatest joy is to see his patients discharged safe and sound and back to normal life.
Nearly three years have been a challenge for healthcare workers since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. Hien who is bestowed an Elite Citizen of Hanoi in 2022 and other "soldiers in white coats" have dedicated themselves and sacrificed in silence to achieve a peaceful life for the population.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been put under control in Hanoi, in the memory of the excellent doctor Pham Ba Hien, there remains lingering and indescribable emotion. It was a period of time when doctors and the health sector experienced many challenges due to the complicated evolution of the pandemic.
Dr. Pham Ba Hien offers a checkup for an elderly patient. Photo: Thao Tran/The Hanoi Times
Recalling the days of struggling against the pandemic, Dr. Hien said that in July 2021, he asked the Hanoi Department of Health to set up a makeshift hospital to collect and treat people infected with the coronavirus. Dong Da General Hospital received the task of deploying the first make-shift Covid-19 treatment center in Hoang Mai District.
"This was the first model for treating patients with Covid-19, based on the coordination of departments and sectors. Therefore, the operation in the hospital faced many difficulties. However, in the spirit of 'fighting the pandemic as fighting the enemy,' we put aside eating and sleeping, and we did our best for the capital city. After 231 days of operation, on March 22, 2022, the last patient was discharged from the hospital. In all, the Den Lu collection center received 6,422 patients and reported no deaths," Hien told The Hanoi Times.
In recent time, despite the complicated development of the pandemic, Dong Da General Hospital continues to perform a dual task: drastically preventing Covid-19, while maintaining regular medical examinations. Good operations have kept the hospital safe from cross-infection.
During his 24-year career, Dr. Hien is not only known as a front-line health worker against the Covid-19 pandemic but “the hero with a compassionate heart for HIV/AIDS patients”.
Doctor Pham Ba Hien (in the middle) visits a patient. Photo: VGP/Thien Tam
Dr. Hien has helped many people to be reborn and integrated into the community despite being infected by the disease of the century. Regardless of his position, he always devotes time wholeheartedly to accompanying HIV/AIDS patients.
"If I don't, where will the patients go, who will help the patients regain their health? It is heartbreaking to see how people with HIV/AIDS are isolated, rejected, and pushed away from the trajectory of life," the doctor shared with The Hanoi Times.
Perhaps in any era, society's view of HIV remains a cause for concern, even Dr. Hien is "isolated" by colleagues and friends for fear of being infected with HIV. At times, many other physicians were also hesitant to contact him. They are worried that the doctor who treats HIV/AIDS patients will infect them with HIV.
It is perseverance and dedication to the special work that has helped Dr. Hien reap “sweet fruits” in HIV/AIDS prevention and control. As a leading specialist in the field, he has directly treated more than 1,000 patients; participated in consultations about difficult cases to reduce the number of new infections and deaths from AIDS.
In addition, he also provides technical support to HIV/AIDS clinics in many provinces and cities across the country. In the face of complicated and unpredictable epidemics, including SARS, influenza A/H5N1, influenza A/H1N1, measles, cholera, and dengue fever, the doctor is always committed to contributing to the successful prevention of dangerous epidemics, bringing a peaceful life to the Hanoi’s residents.