Health Enews


The remarkable development of the Cardiology Department at FV Hospital owes much to the dedication and expertise of its “captain” – Ho Minh Tuan, MD, PhD.

The passion in the eyes and the enthusiastic tone when he speaks about his expertise, sharing dreams of Ho Minh Tuan, MD, PhD – Head of the Cardiology Department at FV Hospital – depicts the portrait of a dedicated doctor and a steadfast captain who inspires the younger generations of doctors.

Dr Ho Minh Tuan started the conversation by mentioning his “destined affinity” and long-standing three decade attachment to the speciality of cardiology.

“When I first entered the profession, I decided to choose cardiology. I wanted to have the opportunity to save more patients’ because heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Among them, the three deadliest groups of diseases in cardiology are coronary artery disease, stroke, and pulmonary artery stenosis. They are all related to blood vessels and arteries of the heart.”

After accumulating years of experience and knowledge working at major hospitals in Vietnam, Dr Tuan was sent to enhance his cardiology intervention skills at the National Heart Institute of Malaysia and the Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital in Japan. Upon returning to his homeland, he carried with him invaluable cardiology knowledge and a concern for the concept of “dedication”.

“The cardiology speciality in Vietnam faces many challenges. The age of disease onset is getting younger, while the elderly patient population is increasing bringing a greater frequency of degenerative valve diseases. Many times I have faced the very difficult cases, perhaps the greatest challenge being the patients who have had a cardiac arrest both inside and outside the hospital. This has fostered my dream of a comprehensive cardiac centre, where patients are treated with the latest techniques, allowing me to save many critically ill patients and helping them have a good quality of life after discharge,” Dr Tuan reflected.

This dream gradually became a reality when Dr Tuan joined FV Hospital as the Head of the Cardiology Department in 2021. Under Dr Tuan’s leadership, the Cardiology Department at FV Hospital continuously implement advanced and highly complex techniques.

Recently, Dr Tuan and his team successfully implemented the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) technique – a method of replacing the aortic valve through an artery. This technique uses a small catheter to replace the valve, accessing through the artery at the groin. The procedure is performed with the assistance of advanced echocardiography and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) systems.

According to Dr Tuan, this is one of the most complex techniques in cardiac intervention, requiring modern medical equipment and a team of highly skilled physicians. FV Hospital is one of the few hospitals in Vietnam capable of applying this technique and that is because its modern Cathlab facility that has state-of-the-art equipment and brilliant team of experts.

Accompanying Dr Tuan since the implementation of the TAVI technique, Mr Lam Van Kiet – Cathlab Team Leader at FV Hospital – stated that the Cathlab team spent months preparing a complete inventory of equipment under Dr Tuan’s guidance. Dr Tuan also invited an experienced expert in TAVI technique implementation, Datuk Dr Rosli Mohd Ali (former director of the National Heart Institute of Malaysia (IJN) and Head of the Cardiology Department at CVSKL Kuala Lumpur Hospital), to FV Hospital who supported the team in performing the first procedures.

“Since arriving at  FV Hospital, Dr Ho Minh Tuan has changed the perception of the technical department regarding procedures and equipment. Under his leadership, we are very excited to utilise new technologies and advanced techniques in cardiac treatment,” expressed Mr Kiet.

During his four years at FV Hospital, Dr Tuan has implemented several practical initiatives such as the reserve Cathlab team (a standby Cathlab team to support cases related to the heart) and the “golden 70 minutes” standard for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction.
“In cardiac treatment, besides specialised techniques and dedicated medical equipment, timely intervention and interdisciplinary coordination are decisive factors for success,” emphasised Dr Tuan.
According to international regulations, the time from when a patient with coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction arrive at the emergency department until the end of the intervention must be under 90 minutes. However, FV Hospital sets a higher standard, aiming to reduce this time to less than 70 minutes. This includes the time from arrival at the emergency department to entering the Cathlab in just over 10 minutes, and completing stent placement in less than 25 minutes. To achieve the shortest possible time, each team operates as if they are in a “Formula 1 track team”, meticulously handling each step and mutually supporting each other to ensure that patients receive timely treatment, 24 hours a day.
Accordingly, the Cardiology Department’s records reflect, 99% of cases of acute myocardial infarction are treated with intervention meet the prescribed time criteria, with a survival rate of over 95%.

“The most important factor for ensuring the FV Hospital Cardiology Department maintains the miraculous figures are the team of experts. In addition, we must mention the pivotal role of our technology and advanced treatment techniques.”

“At FV Hospital, the Cathlab boasts the most advanced equipment in Vietnam, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), Rotablator for plaque removal, GE Vivid 3 and Philips EPIQ ultrasound machines, Holter ECG monitoring devices, stress testing systems, 24-hour blood pressure monitors, 256-layer MSCT scanners, cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) machines, and cardiac CT imaging. These state-of-the-art facilities are likened to ‘powerful arms,’ enabling physicians to promptly treat life threatening conditions such as artery blockages, aneurysms, heart attacks, valve stenosis, vascular occlusions, heart diseases, and structural heart defects.”

Thanks to the investment in modern and synchronized equipment, as well as the application of comprehensive treatment modalities for patients, FV Hospital has successfully treated complex and rare emergency diseases, saving many patients in a critical condition such as cardiac arrest, pulmonary oedema, and cardiogenic shock.

“I often tell young doctors, working at FV Hospital is a stroke of luck because the facilities and personnel here almost entirely meet the requirements of healthcare professionals. To ensure that the medical team is wholeheartedly dedicated to saving lives, FV implements a very compassionate patient prioritization policy, which is rare to find in any healthcare institution,” Dr Tuan confided.

Amidst the grim backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City, Dr Ho Minh Tuan not only held the position of Head of the Cardiology Department but also led the forefront of the COVID-19 Treatment Department. The urgency to save more critically ill patients spurred his relentless efforts. “Faulty hearts” were revived, and cases of cardiac arrest were saved as if by miracles, right at FV Hospital. The memories of many sleepless nights and moments of extreme tension are still there, serving as reminders to the doctor of his courage and unwavering mission to serve patients whenever he dons his white coat.

After nearly three decades of dedication to cardiology, treating thousands of patients, the many patient stories have left a mark in the mind of the head of department. If initially choosing cardiology was driven by the desire to save lives, it was the affection from patients that created resilience for this doctor to remain dedicated to his profession. The grateful looks from patients upon returning from the brink of death, the tearful expressions of gratitude from patients’ families, the trembling handwritten letters from patients as they are discharged – these are warm gifts for him and his team who have spent hours of intense efforts to save lives.

“Thank you, doctor, for giving me the precious gift of 10-15 more years of life. Thank you for turning my old heartbeat back to a new heart,” wrote a 67-year-old female patient in a heartfelt three-page letter to Dr Tuan on Vietnamese Doctor’s Day, instilling even more confidence in the healing power of medicine.

At the spritely age of fifty, Ho Minh Tuan, MD, PhD continues to passionately dedicate himself to the cardiology speciality and to carve new milestones for the FV Hospital Cardiology Department. With the context of Vietnam gradually catching up with advanced countries in terms of equipment systems and modern techniques, Dr Tuan’s greatest commitment is to train high-quality staff.

For over four years of dedication to FV Hospital, following the “mentorship” approach, Dr Tuan has been directly involved in teaching and giving hands-on guidance for hundreds of medical students, interns, hospital residents, postgraduates, and researchers, both domestically and internationally.

Recognising the continuous advancement in the field of cardiology, from diagnostic tools to therapeutic medications and intervention methods, Dr Tuan creates the optimal conditions for his team to update their knowledge and techniques through weekly internal training sessions.

“On Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch breaks, the meeting room of the Cardiology Department is always lit up. All doctors, technicians, and nurses gather for professional activities. Each session, a doctor takes the lead to update the team on the latest worldwide medical knowledge. Everyone is excited and eager to participate in sharing knowledge,” the doctor confides.

With the advantage of their connections to major cardiology centres in the region, Dr Tuan often invites leading experts from around the world to FV Hospital to perform new techniques. Thanks to this, young doctors at FV have had the opportunity to learn advanced techniques and apply them to the treatment of patients in Vietnam.

In his role as the head of the Cardiology Department, Dr Tuan actively organizes large-scale international conferences for the medical community in Vietnam.

In 2022, FV Hospital successfully collaborated with Bach Mai Hospital to organise the conference “Advanced Techniques in Cardiovascular Disease Treatment,” which brought together over 200 attendees including cardiologists, internal medicine specialists, emergency physicians, and resident doctors from Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring provinces.

The conference was highly praised for the knowledge that was shared, not only from leading Vietnamese cardiology experts but also from international specialists whom Dr Tuấn personally contacted and invited to attend. Through these large-scale cardiology conferences organised by FV Hospital, Dr Tuan will contribute to providing opportunities for the medical community to learn of the latest advancements in cardiovascular treatment, thus enhancing the quality of patient care in Vietnam.

“I am always concerned about how to enable young doctors, not only at FV but also at other institutions. They can come here to learn, keep up with technology, and improve their expertise. We are working on plans to establish the Cardiology Department as a training and scientific research centre, offering training programmes for resident doctors, followed by medical students for internships to supplement high-quality healthcare staff,” Dr Tuan emphasised.

His dedication, enthusiasm, and relentless pursuit of development initiatives are qualities that colleagues recognise in Ho Minh Tuan, MD, PhD. Speaking about Dr Tuan, Do Trong Khanh, MD, PhD, the FV Hospital Medical Director said “He may not talk much, but he gets things done, and he does them well.” In the eyes of his colleagues, the Head of the Cardiology Department is a person with a high sense of responsibility, willing to face challenges, and always stands alongside the team.

As he hurriedly ends our conversation upon receiving a notification of a cardiac emergency, Dr Tuan rushes into the Cathlab to prepare for the surgery. Watching him attentively study the patient’s medical records, assign the surgical team, we understand more about a physician who has devoted his whole heart and life to cardiology.

Facebook messenger