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Ministry orders hospital probe after post-op death

THE Ministry of Health has ordered a thorough investigation into the use of student doctors at a Beijing hospital after a medical researcher died following surgery.

The victim's husband blamed the death on the hospital's practice of expecting medical student interns to perform surgery without supervision, news Website reported today.

Beijing People's Higher Court held a second hearing of the case this afternoon after the victim's husband and the hospital appealed against an earlier ruling in July that the hospital should pay 700,000 yuan (US$147,900) compensation for the woman's death.

Xiong Zhuowei, 49, a senior researcher with No.1 Hospital of Beijing University, died on January 31, 2006, a week after undergoing orthopedic surgery at the hospital. The hospital explained the death as a result of pulmonary embolism, a lung clot that can occur after surgery.

But Xiong's husband Wang Jianguo, a professor with Beijing University's management school, rejected the explanation, accusing the hospital of illegally using unlicensed doctors whose inexperience had allegedly resulted in the death.

None of the three doctors treating Xiong was licensed but were intern students with the university's medical school, he told state television CCTV earlier.

Wang also told CCTV the hospital had made revisions on his wife's medical record to conceal medical errors.

The hospital denied its use of interns was illegal, citing the Health Ministry's regulations.


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