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Zero tolerance for hospital staff who collude with scalpers

China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-31 07:54

Zero tolerance for hospital staff who collude with scalpers

Wu Xufeng (right) treats a patient in the intensive care unit at the Hefei Binhu Hospital, Anhui province.[Photo/China Daily]

A video showing a nurse in a hospital in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province, angrily rebuking a woman who tried to hoodwink patients to go to other small, profit-seeking hospitals went viral on the internet recently. Beijing Youth Daily comments:

Hospital scalpers are not a new phenomena. They take advantage of patients' huge demand for good medical resources and lack of knowledge about the market to make profits. The public security and public health departments have always pledged "zero tolerance" toward such activities, which hurt patients' interests, and have launched many rounds of campaigns against the scalpers. Yet those who seek to decoy patients often return to the hospitals once the campaigns end.

A tricky point is how to define scalpers' behavior according to law.

Some swindle money out of the patients and their families, and even work for some illegal clinics. Such scalpers are suspected of breaking the Criminal Law.

Some queue up overnight or at the break of dawn to obtain the limited registration for outpatient services. These people can only be detained and fined according to the public security rules. The activities of such scalpers have already been curbed with the introduction of real-name and online registration.

Overall, though, very few scalpers have received severe penalties, which explains why they have become increasingly bold, and in some places, hospital scalping has become an industry.

Also, it is an open secret that some hospital employees collaborate with the scalpers. They are, to some extent, the root cause of the chronic disease in Chinese hospitals.

But even fewer hospital employees have been investigated and punished so far, even if they actually make huge profits from the deals.

If authorities really hold zero tolerance toward such activities, they should take actions to tackle the root cause head-on.

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