Spirit of service

During the two days, two doctors appeared in public, and talked about the concept of service. First was Dr. Hong Chien, who had just been beaten at Saint Paul Hospital. He held back his hiccup to say, "No matter how pinched the doctor will be, he will serve the person who beat them."

The second one, is Dr. Do Ngoc Chanh at the 115 emergency center in Ho Chi Minh City. Just 23 staff of this center quit their jobs because their salary was not enough to live, even less than 2 million VND / month. The emergency jobs do not generate income from services like other medical facilities, so they have no income but salaries. And Dr. Chanh, after saying that "income is very difficult", had to identify himself: "The emergency is to serve."

The two words "serve" in the nuance that doctors have used, are raised as a guideline of people working in the public sector since the time of the country's independence, and up until today. Country history records the spirit of this "service". We cannot count all the poems, essays or songs praising the voluntary devotion of man to the ideal and to the people.

But the market economy demands to reconsider the nuance of those two words "serve" and the perspective system behind it.

To think about a market economy, try imagining a product that has been gaining attention over the past week, coffee. You come to a small city in the Central, sidewalks are crowded with people, relaxing scenery. You sit down at the roadside toad restaurant and sip a delicious black coffee. You smile, stand up and ask for money. Coffee cup costs five thousand dong.

The moment you hear the price of a coffee, what do you think? At that moment, I panicked the tip of my tongue on the roof of my mouth, tried to check the bitterness left in despair, and wondered what I'd just been given.

I'm not sure how cheap a cup of coffee can be produced, the sellers can be honest. But subconsciously, I was forced to pardon him in thinking: I do not believe there exists a cup of coffee for five thousand dong. In that moment, in my mind was the natural reaction formed by the market economy. It is called a sense of price. This consciousness even formed before the "spirit of service" of revolutionary romanticism was born. Since ancient times, the old people have taught, "cheapness is mine".

But when an emergency case of the 115 center always costs 150,000 VND, regardless of distance, regardless of day and night, regardless of patient's situation, for both doctors, nurses and drivers, people not alarmed, the doctors can only explain that they are "serving" the people.

The spirit of these two words "serving", over decades of praise, has transcended the literal meaning of a verb, and has become a spirit against common market laws. Having called "service", you can forget about the sense of price. Of course, there is a time when a society needs to resist common market laws to survive, such as wartime. But when we are striving to build a healthy market economy, it becomes a drag.

Does this "service" mentality also include policy decisions, where public sector wages have consistently been shown through research, criticizing that they are too low compared to the private sector? This low salary has a series of serious consequences, which the "spirit of service" cannot compensate. This spirit of "service" is implied in the behavior, when the person "served" does not even have the slightest faith in the opponent's volunteering (think again of the coffee cup), while the "must serve" person still spinning with rice money.

And those two words are still constantly being used in directives as an effort to promote the quality of public service. That word "service", spoken from Dr. Chien, in sobbing sobs, somewhat spoke of its nature.

Vietnamese has full verbs to call jobs, being fair in their nature. Doctors "examine" and "cure". Administrative officials "do paperwork". State-owned companies "sell" electricity, water and environmental services (even the word "supply" is an inadequate euphemism). No job needs to put on the "service" cover except for the catering industry itself. Just by using the right verb for a job, we feel the need to treat them more worthy of that verb.

Anyone can have a volunteer spirit. If someone is willing to serve the people unconditionally for his or her own ideal, that is valuable. But if we believe that this society must operate primarily on that "service" rather than the laws of the market, then we are acknowledging that we have a weak country.

Lord Emperor