Vietnam sacks health minister amid anti-corruption drive


MPs attend the opening ceremony of the National Assembly’s fall session in Hanoi, Vietnam October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

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HANOI, June 7 (Reuters) – Vietnam on Tuesday sacked its health minister, Nguyen Thanh Long, accused of breaking rules of the ruling Communist Party and causing losses to the state budget, officials said. reported the official media.

The minister’s dismissal comes amid a ramping up of the Southeast Asian country’s anti-corruption campaign that was launched in 2016.

Dozens of top health officials have been arrested in recent weeks, accused of wrongdoing in the supply of medical equipment, including COVID-19 test kits. Senior finance and diplomatic officials were also targeted, and many were tried and imprisoned.

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The National Assembly, the country’s legislative body, voted on Tuesday to remove Long, 55, from the post of health minister, which he assumed in 2020, Voice of Vietnam radio reported.

The Communist Party of Vietnam also decided on Monday to expel Long, according to a government press release.

The government said Long had “degraded his political ideology, violated party regulations and caused losses to the state budget”.

Calls to Long’s phone went unanswered.

The Ministry of Health has appointed its deputy minister Do Xuan Tuyen as acting minister, the official Vietnamese News Agency quoted the ministry as saying.

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Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor

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