Hospital heads arrested in bribery crackdown
Nine senior executives and doctors at eight state-run hospitals in Shenzhen have been arrested for allegedly taking millions of yuan in bribes.
The arrests came as part of a high-profile campaign against commercial corruption in Guangdong. More than 1,000 party cadres have been investigated since February, in addition to an undisclosed number of others in areas such as health, education and production industries.
Earlier this month, 16 executives and doctors in Shenzhen were taken away by investigators for suspected links to commercial bribery, according to the Shenzhen prosecutor's office. The nine arrested for suspected bribe-taking were five executives and four department chiefs. The remaining seven were released on bail pending further investigation.
Hospitals were ordered to conduct their own internal probes.
The campaign has also brought down a number of hospital directors and doctors across Guangdong, such as in Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Qingyuan , in what is being called the province's biggest anti-graft crackdown in the health sector for years.
The five implicated directors or deputy directors in Shenzhen came from Nanshan People's Hospital, Henggang People's Hospital, Pingshan People's Hospital, Guangming Hospital and Xili People's Hospital. The department chiefs were from Shenzhen Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Shenzhen No 3 People's Hospital, Baoan People's Hospital and the Pingshan hospital.
Shenzhen prosecutors said investigations found widespread bribery in local hospitals' procurement of medical equipment, medicine and other goods.
Some hospital directors were found to have taken several million yuan in bribes relating to spending.
Investigators conceded that taking bribes for purchases of medicine was so prevalent in the industry that it had become almost an unspoken rule of the trade.
Prosecutors said all the hospitals they probed were found to be involved in bribes involving medicine procurement, Legal Daily reported.
Some Shenzhen residents welcomed the crackdown, but others suspected that a number of corrupt executives and doctors remained.
Shenzhen resident Xu Fei said a department chief at a local state-run hospital told him in 2010 he had a fatal condition that required surgery costing 200,000 yuan (HK$245,000). But eventually it cost him 20,000 yuan at a Guangzhou hospital.
He said: 'I bet the Shenzhen doctor and his team were definitely involved in corruption, but they are still free from the current crackdown.'
More than this many party cadres have been investigated in Guangdong since February as part of a campaign against commercial graft