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China's Health Ministry promises reform after hospital scandals

(Xinhua)

10:18, November 11, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Health has promised measures to improve patient's confidence in doctors after a number of scandals, said ministry spokesman Deng Haihua on Thursday.

Moreover, the ministry has ordered a thorough investigation into one particular recent accusation of medical negligence, said another senior official of the Health Ministry, Zhao Minggang, who also called on all medical workers to be extremely careful and prudent when treating patients.

The case under investigation concerns a baby mistakenly diagnosed as stillborn in October in a hospital in south China's Guangdong province. Medical workers wrapped the infant in a plastic bag and discarded it, only for relatives to later discover it was still alive.

Huang Lichuan, director of the hospital's department of obstetrics and gynecology, confessed that the nurses had made a wrong diagnosis due to a "shortage of experience."

The incident joins a number of other recent medical scandals in fueling tension between doctors and patients.

In September, the father of an ill boy, skeptical of the doctors' diagnosis and treatments, reportedly made a record of all the talks, consultations and treatments that took place.

The father explained that his suspicion mounted after he copied the boy's medical records and showed it to pediatricians in other hospitals, and they told him that his son's condition was not as serious as the doctor in charge had described.

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