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December 2, 2011

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6 charged with fraud in medical care

SIX people who allegedly opened an unlicensed hospital and defrauded 22 patients of more than 100,000 yuan (US$15,729) by charging high fees on "cure-all" prescriptions and drugs have been arrested and charged with fraud, Zhabei District prosecutors said yesterday.

The main suspect, Li Bing, was said to open an illegal hospital with a forged business license and a fake official seal in Zhabei District on July 11, providing traditional Chinese medicine treatments for incurable diseases.

Prosecutors said the 23-year-old hired fellow villagers from his hometown in Hunan Province to work in his hospital.

He arranged for Yang Rong, a retired rural doctor in his 60s, to see patients, boasting that Yang was a famous medical professor of traditional Chinese medicine.

To attract more patients, Li contacted medical agents and paid commissions to them for introducing patients at 100 yuan each, said prosecutors.

Patients who came to the hospital sought help for conditions ranging from infertility to skin diseases.

Each was charged 98 yuan for a registration fee and more for TCM prescriptions and herbal drugs, said Li.

Without any professional medical equipment, the hospital took more than 100,000 yuan from 22 patients in just 12 days since its opening.

Prosecutors said the major victim was a couple who paid 11,110 yuan in efforts to have a child.

Some victims were taken in for small amounts from 300 yuan to 1,000 yuan.

Li said he started the business as he believed it would be profitable because "everyone would be willing to spend money on health."

The herbal medicines he sold to the deceived patients had no effect on their diseases but would not kill them either, Li told prosecutors.


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