by Michael Woodhead
A national 'strike hard' campaign against illegal medical practices has resulted in more than 5000 'black clinics' being shut down and many fake doctors being unmasked.
The crackdown, which was a collaboration between numerous government agencies including health departments and police, followed up more than 30,000 complaints from the public. It resulted in 964 criminal prosecutions against individuals and the cancelling of clinic licences for 121 child clinics and family planning facilities. The campaign to 'tidy up and restore order' in the medical field also resulted in 760 criminal cases for fake clinics and the breaking up of 22 criminal gangs involved in running them. The clinics included sex-selection abortion clinics, cosmetic surgery practices and health spas. The crackdown also saw the closure of fertility clinics and unmasked foreign-trained doctors operating without authorisation in China. It also closed down 46 clinics and health stations falsely claiming to be run by the PLA and saw the dismissal of 164 bogus PLA medical workers. The campaign resulted in fines of over 63 million being imposed, and a positive feedback from the public.
The six departments involved will continue and widen their investigations into fake medical practices and illegal medical clinics.