Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 1: Welcome to the Hospital

Monday was a busy day at Can Tho Central General Hospital for the International Extremity Project team. 

We started with a welcome meeting at the hospital from the hospital's chief doctor, who gave us some of the background about the hospital itself and introduced the team that will work with IEP while we are here. Then Dr. Lehnert from the IEP team talked about our organization, our history in Can Tho, and introduced the mission team to the Can Tho doctors and administrators.

Welcome to the Hospital 
Can Tho Central General Hospital is operated by the government and cares for patients from throughout the Mekong Delta area, which has a population of more than 15 million. The hospital has 40 departments and 1200 staff, of which more than 300 are doctors. The hospital can accomodate 1000 inpatients and sees 1400 outpatients daily.

There are always ongoing improvement projects. For instance, the hospital is currently improving its trauma facilities and capabilities for spine care and joint replacement procedures.

The hospital is proud and honored to host and learn from international groups like IEP. Every group has different ways of thinking, working, and using technology -- all of which are opportunities for the teams in Can Tho to learn more. Groups like IEP work under the approval and guidelines of the government while at the hospital.

Can Tho General has a department particularly for international cooperation within the Mekong District. The hospital announced in public press and radio that IEP would be here so people in the region have an opportunity to see our doctors.

The local medical team pre-screens many of the patients that will see the IEP team. The hospital is not allowed to refuse anyone, so the IEP doctors may need to evaluate more patients than originally planned.

Happy to Be Here
Dr. Lehnert spoke on behalf of the IEP mission team. This is Dr. Lehnert's 11th trip to Vietnam and his 10th to Can Tho. Half of our team for this mission is new members, but the rest of the team has been to Can Tho with IEP before, some as many as 10 times.

Dr. Lehnert explained how much the IEP team looks forward to coming to Can Tho and providing all the surgeries and help we can do while here, free to the people of Mekong Delta. We understand that the hospital is very impacted and busy, so we appreciate the clinic space and use of operating rooms to see and treat patients while we are here.

We love working with the doctors in Can Tho and have worked with many of the for a long time, including Dr. Em. We hope this relationship will continue into the future.

Drs. Tan and Lehnert introduced the roles of the team member from each group.

And now... it's time to get to work!

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