Monday, 20 January 2014

Inquiry rejects claims of Mianyang hospital whistleblower

by Michael Woodhead
A local inquiry into a Sichuan doctor's claims of over-servicing and financial irregularities at a Mianyang hospital has concluded that there is no case to answer.
In a story featured prominently in the People's Daily, the claims of Dr Lan Yuefeng have been found to be unsubstantiated by a major investigation conducted by health and disciplinary authorities in Mianyang into affairs at the Renmin Hospital. Dr Lan claimed to have been stood down over her claims that the hospital was driven by income targets that led to overservicing and inappropriate and unethical treatment. Barred from her office in the ultrasound department, she worked in a hospital corridor for almost two years.
However, an investigation by the local health department and party disciplinary and audit committees has refuted all of her allegations, according to the People's Daily.
The investigation found limited evidence of financial performance related targets and income at the hospital, but said these were in accordance with local health department guidelines and were corrected over time.
The investigation found that Dr Lan's claims of inappropriate use of a cardiac pacemaker for profit rather than clinical need were unfounded. The inquiry also rejected claims that there was 'medical chaos' at the hospital and no abnormal growth in servicing or revenue.
The investigator rejected claims by Dr Lan that she had been stood down because she voiced opposition to the inappropriate use of medical procedures such as the use of a cardiac pacemaker.
However, the inquiry did find fault with the hospital in terms of the overall quality of medical treatment, the attitude of staff to patients and the responses to complaints.
The investigation team said staff were lacking in political ideology and more work in this area was needed, especially for Dr Lan, whose political thinking was primitive. Political work needed needed to be strengthened to counsel Dr Lan and also to rectify the problems identified according to the law, it concluded.

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