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Hospital head suspended for funding fraud

The president and deputy of a hospital in southern China have been suspended from duties because the hospital was accused of swindling money from the social security fund by allowing its staff or their families to bill for non-existent or excessive medical treatments.

The Lunjiao Hospital in Shunde, Guangdong Province, received 200 visits from staff or their families from the end of April to early June, accounting for more than 1 million yuan (US$146,000) in medical expenses, Nanfang Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

Staff and their families ran up another 1 million yuan for medical treatment in the hospital in the first 10 days of June. Those expenses could reap the hospital 2 million yuan from the local social security fund under the local public medical care funding system.

A joint task force from the local health and social security departments was sent to the hospital to investigate and confirmed on Wednesday morning the hospital attempted to gain more social security allocation via increasing the number of in-hospital patients.

The Shunde government has suspended president Luo Younian and deputy He Yongtao from duties.

Hospitals in Shunde were reported to obtain social security allocation based on the average medical expenses its patients spent in the past several years and the Lunjiao Hospital was entitled an allowance of 5,300 yuan for each of its in-hospital patients.

Furthermore, Lunjiao Hospital had 100,000 local employed residents registered for its outpatient services, which could reap the hospital a further 8 million yuan from the local social security fund.

The task force found the hospital accepted 3,020 outpatient visits in June even though the average monthly total for all the hospitals in Shunde was between 3,000 and 4,000.

A hospital nurse was diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory infection by the hospital and she was prescribed 13 days stay in hospital, a hepatitis B vaccine and medical tests including blood type, a CAT scan and a uterus examination. Her treatment included 299 items amounting to 7644.21 yuan.

The nurse was seen working at the hospital during her supposed stay.

More than a dozen of her colleagues were reported to get similar treatments but with different diagnoses and lengths of stay in hospital.

Many of the hospital's staff were diagnosed with minor ailments and were offered hundreds of medicines, the newspaper said.


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