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Cheating doctor gets taste of own medicine
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-29 06:34

GUANGZHOU: A prestigious doctor in Guangzhou was fined 50,000 yuan (US$6,200) and ordered to refund bribes valued at about 8,000 yuan (US$1,000), after he was found to have accepted bribes and forced patients to use smuggled medicines.

Nanfang Daily reported at the weekend that Zhu Weiguo, an associate professor and a deputy chief physician, has also been removed from his post as the deputy director of the Paediatric Department of Zhujiang Hospital, which is affiliated with Guangzhou's Nanfang University of Medical Science.

Meanwhile, Zhu's doctor's licence and the right to prescribe medication have been withdrawn.

It is the most serious punishment ever imposed on a doctor in Guangdong Province.

An official from Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Health said yesterday his bureau supports the hospital's decision to seriously punish Zhu.

"All doctors should adhere to their professional ethics and avoid accepting bribes from their patients," the official, who did not give his name, told China Daily yesterday.

And Liu Daisheng, deputy secretary of Zhujiang Hospital's Party Committee and secretary of the hospital's Commission for Discipline Inspection, promised to continue investigating Zhu's case to its fullest extent.

"Zhu will further be punished if he is found to have been involved in any other medical or financial problems," Liu said.

Zhu's case was exposed after two children died of Mediterranean anaemia after being treated by Zhu early this year.

Last month, the mothers of the two victims revealed to the local authorities that Zhu had accepted their bribes, and required them to purchase smuggled medicines from particular suppliers.

They also asked for further investigation into their children's death.

After this came to light, Zhujiang Hospital immediately established a special task force to investigate the case.

Later, Zhu admitted that he had accept bribes and asked his patients to use smuggled medicines.

One of the mothers, who gave only her family name Zeng, plans to file a lawsuit against Zhu and the hospital, the local newspaper reported.

She is seeking compensation of 750,000 yuan (US$93,400).

Since 1998 Zhu, a senior paediatrician, has been at the forefront of his hospital's use of bone marrow transplants to treat Mediterranean anaemia.

He became well known in the field after he was reported to have conducted a total of 39 bone marrow transplants since 1998, with 33 of them being successful.

(China Daily 11/29/2005 page3)

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