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August 10, 2013

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Hunt for heart op girl’s family

A LOCAL pediatric hospital is trying to trace the parents of a one-year-old girl so that she can undergo surgery for congenital heart disease.

The parents of Hong Shiqi, from a rural area in Guizhou Province, left the child at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University last year.

According to the hospital, since then they have rarely been in touch, and only once or twice picked up phone calls from doctors.

Now a charity foundation has put up the 100,000 yuan (US$16,129) needed for the operation to repair Shiqi’s heart.

While the sooner the procedure is carried out the better, the children’s hospital first needs Shiqi’s parents’ permission.

“We’ve called police in Shiqi’s hometown to help us,” said hospital official Fu Lili.

“Without their signatures, we can’t carry out the surgery, and its effectiveness drops the longer we wait.”

The hospital added that it has around 10 children left in similar circumstances. Parents say they’ll come back to take their children, but then don’t show up.

Local civil affairs bureaus say the children are not their responsibility as they’re not orphans nor exactly abandoned.

So it’s left to hospitals to care for the children, said Fu.

Chen Zhanbiao of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said insufficient financial support for poor families with very ill children is a factor.   

“While we can blame parents, a lack of financial support for poor families with sick children should also be held responsible,” Chen said.


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