The Health Ministry plans to inspect private health clinics and drugstores in five major cities this year after many violations were uncovered during last year's inspections.

In 2013, 197 private health clinics and 66 private drugstores were suspended from operations for violating medical regulations, according to the ministry.

Many medical workers were found working without work permits; in addition, drugstores were caught operating without business licences and selling psychotropic drugs and drug precursors without permits.

The inspectors will target Can Tho, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Duong Xuan An, the ministry's deputy chief inspector, said at a recent meeting in Hanoi.

The ministry also plans to compile and submit to the Government a project to improve medical inspectors' skills by 2020.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien ordered all health departments to inspect the bidding process for medicine and medical equipment.-VNA