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December 30, 2011

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Cashier's vengeful name for patient creates fiasco

AN intern cashier from a local hospital is deeply embroiled in a months-long dispute after she deliberately altered a tumor patient's name into "Go to Hell" to vent her anger after a quarrel with the patient's wife.

Shanghai Tumor Hospital officials yesterday confirmed with Shanghai Daily that the incident was blamed on the cashier and that she was punished.

Despite the fact that the cashier, Wang Jing, 24, and her father have apologized through text messages to the patient's wife, surnamed Sun, more than 50 times and agreed to make cash compensation for causing mental anguish, the patient's wife refuses to accept it and wrap up the dispute, the hospital said.

Wang had also sent a handwritten letter to apologize. Hospital officials said they had been trying to reach an agreement with the patient, Zhang Wengui, and his wife for months and have offered financial compensation.

But the wife insists the hospital and cashier apologize by rolling over the content of Wang's apology letter repeatedly on the hospital's electronic screen, used to facilitate hospital functions such as outpatient registration.

"It's impossible to suspend normal functions of the hospital's information screen to apologize to the patient and his wife in the demanded way. This would interrupt the hospital operation and disturb the other patients," the hospital said in a public statement yesterday evening.

It was through the information screen that the wife discovered the name change. The woman was lining up to pay off medications for her husband on August 30 when she was stunned to discover his name was changed into "Go To Hell, Zhang," as displayed on the screen. She reported to the hospital managers immediately and it was found the same day that the cashier, Wang, was guilty.

The hospital said Wang changed Zhang's name in the hospital database to take revenge because Zhang's wife had a quarrel with her the day before over a 14 yuan (US$2.22) overcharge.

"My husband is already a patient suffering cancer and he's deeply hurt in such a manner. He deserves a serious apology," she told a Hunan Province-based newspaper in an interview.

The hospital said yesterday the cashier's probation was extended for an extra year and she was also punished with a 10,000 yuan deduction from her salary for the mistake.

"I made a serious mistake on impulse," Wang said in a handwritten letter addressed to the patient.

"As an adult, I have fully realized the pains and reputational damages that I have caused your family. I hereby beg your and your family's pardon to accept my apology."


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