China / Society

Beijing police nab 12 hospital appointment scalpers

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-28 19:04

BEIJING -- Beijing police have arrested 12 people scalping outpatient appointments in three downtown hospitals following a viral video that showed a furious women at a hospital blaming scalpers for her failure to get a ticket.

Seven scalpers were captured and four of them were detained on Monday morning at the Guang'anmen Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Hospital where the incident occurred last Tuesday, Beijing police said.

Five other scalpers were also seized at Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Xuanwu Hospital. Police are still investigating the scalping problem in Guang'anmen TCM Hospital.

Beijing police will continue to cooperate with health authorities to carry out a crackdown on scalping at hospitals, said a police source.

The lady in the video said she had been waiting in the hospital for an outpatient appointment for two days, and still could not get a ticket. A scalper offered her an appointment for 4,500 yuan (684 U.S. dollars) for a booking originally priced at 300 yuan.

She claimed hospital staff colluded with scalpers. But the hospital later denied the accusation.

Ticket scalping is a major problem for hospitals and railway stations during holiday seasons.

Well-equipped hospitals in Beijing attract patients nationwide, which leads to overcrowding and increases difficulty to get an appointment.

Though telephone and Internet reservations were introduced to make bookings convenient, scalping remains rampant in large hospitals in Beijing and other big cities.

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