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Hospital head dismissed over premature baby scandal in south China

(Xinhua)

14:19, December 03, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- A hospital head has been dismissed and several medical workers have received penalties in the wake of a scandal involving a premature baby who was mistakenly diagnosed as a stillbirth in south China's Guangdong province.

The head of the Nanhai Red Cross Hospital in the city of Foshan and a senior hospital official have been dismissed, while four medical workers at the departments of obstetrics and gynecology have been barred from practicing medical work, the Ministry of Health said in a Friday statement.

Liu Dongmei, a 22-year-old mother, was informed that she had given birth to a stillborn baby girl on Oct. 26 at the hospital.

The baby was then wrapped in a plastic bag and discarded in a restroom by nurses until half an hour later, when Liu's family rushed to the hospital and asked about the baby. The infant turned out to be a premature boy.

The child has been transferred to another hospital in Foshan and is in stable condition, the statement said.

The incident triggered public outrage in the local community and stirred a new round of debate regarding the country's hospital management.

The incident exposed serious loopholes in the hospital's management and implementation of medical protocol, as well as problematic attitudes among medical workers, the statement said.

The ministry asked health authorities and hospitals at all levels to draw a lesson from the incident in Foshan and step up their efforts to close management loopholes.

Medical workers should also improve their attitudes toward patients and communicate well with them, the statement said.

Compensation for Liu and her child is being arranged by a local intermediation agency, the statement said.

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