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Undercover probe exposes medical insurance scam

AN undercover operation in southern China's Shenzhen City has exposed 18 clinics who allowed operatives posing as patients to use someone else's insurance cards to pay for their medical care, China National Radio reported today.

The clinics have been penalized by the Social Insurance Bureau, which also revoked their right to access social security accounts, the report said.

However, the undercover probe had drawn outrage from some Internet users. Bureau spokesman Huang Xianfeng strongly defended the tactics, saying that the clinics had acted unlawfully.

Huang said the operations were designed to protect insurance money from being compromised.

But one doctor among those punished has spoken against the undercover tactics. Investigators posing as patients often claimed they were in unbearable pain and urged the doctors to diagnose them as fast as possible, said Liu Guiqing.

Undercover officers often used insurance cards with photos that looked like their bearers too, Liu said.

"Doctors aren't police. We'd rather spend more time on treating patients than scrutinizing photos," said Shuai Feifei from No.2 People's Hospital, which is also on the black list.


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