Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Public warned of fake doctors soliciting bribes

by Michael Woodhead

The families of patients discharged from hospital are being phoned by scammers pretending to be doctors and soliciting 'red envelope' bribes, Guangzhou media report.

The Guangzhou Daily reports the case of a women referred to as "Auntie Chen" whose elderly mother had just come out of hospital for treatment of stomach cancer. Ms Chen received a phone call from a "Dr Wang" at the hospital who seemed to be familiar with Ms Chen's mother's case and said she needed to have her treatment adjusted after her last visit.

The 'doctor' said he could arrange this the next day, but the medical team would require red envelopes containing 2-3000 yuan to speed things up. He put pressure on Ms Chen, asking if she wanted to take up the offer, but time was limited and other might take the free appointment time. Ms Chen  panicked and agreed to come to the hospital the next day to arrange matters.

The next morning when she arrived at the hospital she called the number supplied by Doctor Wang and he told her he would meet her in the foyer, there was no need to go back to the clinic reception. Ms Chen became suspicious and phoned the clinic where her mother had been treated. They said they knew nothing of any changes to the old lady's treatment plan and Dr Wang had not made any calls to patients. When Ms Chen reported what had happened to the hospital security department, she was told that several families had been called by scammers, trying to dupe families to hand over money as bribes for 'special treatment'.

The head of hospital security said families should be aware that doctors and staff at the hospital would never ring patients asking for money. If there were bills to be paid this would be requested in writing and the bills paid at the hospital cashier.

 When asked how the fraudsters knew the details of the doctor and her mother's condition, the security chief said it was possible that criminal gangs had spied on people when they were registering at the hospital reception. He warned patients and families to be careful when filling in details on forms and not to discard any incomplete forms in rubbish bins. He also warned the public not to discuss the details of cases with strangers or in public where others may overhear.

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