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Cataract scandal: Hospital staff responsible
By Zhou Weirong (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-13 05:48

SHANGHAI: Hospital management staff and an unregistered company that allegedly sold faulty products should take responsibility for the medical mishap that resulted in the removal of the eyeballs of nine cataract patients in Suzhou, East China's Anhui Province, an investigation concluded.

According to a public notice from Suzhou's municipal government, 12 management staff from Suzhou City Hospital and Suzhou Municipal Public Health Bureau were issued penalties for neglecting their duties and poor management.

Hao Chaochun, chief executive of the hospital who was also the deputy head of the municipal public health bureau, was removed from all his official posts and transferred elsewhere.

Yang Lijin, head of the public health bureau, was also penalized for ineffective supervision.

More severe penalties await the key responsible individuals, including the hospital chief executive.

Xu Qing from No 9 People's Hospital under the medical college of Shanghai Jiaotong University and the physician who performed the surgical eye operations will not be severely punished because it is believed that the accidents did not occur as a result of his technique.

However, Xu is still being held in police custody in Anhui, said Tian Zhuoping, spokesman from the Shanghai hospital.

The investigation showed that Shanghai Shunchunyang Science and Technology Trading Co was an unregistered company owned by two individuals posing as doctors who claimed they could offer the best medical treatment for cataracts.

However, the cornea transplants used to treat the cataract patients were found to be of poor quality. The faulty medical service came about as an illegal co-operation between the Anhui hospital and the unregistered Shanghai company.

(China Daily 01/13/2006 page2)

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