Wuhan hospital takes down banner celebrating 40,000 patients

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 December, 2012, 10:21am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 December, 2012, 3:10pm

A Wuhan hospital was slammed by Chinese netizens after it unveiled a huge banner outside the building celebrating its total number of in-patients hitting 40,000, the Zhanjiang Evening News newspaper reported on Monday.

A red banner measuring three stories in height emblazoned with the words “warm congratulations to our hospital in 2012 for exceeding 40,000 inpatients” could be seen sprawled down the exterior wall of the Wuhan City People’s Hospital as late as November 30. The banner has since been removed.

It all started when a blogger with the screen name ‘Soy sauce with egg Ming’ put up a post on Sina Weibo, China’s main microblogging service, after he saw the sign while admitting his sick grandmother to the hospital, according to the Evening News.

“Wuhan City People’s Hospital, [you] do not have slightest bit of morality! As if this was something worth celebrating?” he wrote.

Thousands of fuming Chinese netizens took to the blogosphere shortly after to join in the bashing. Most thought the banner was a gaffe and that 40,000 admitted patients was hardly an achievement, let alone something worth celebrating.

One Weibo-user wrote: “This is no different from hanging a banner outside the hospital with the words ‘business is booming’".

Others stressed that patient numbers were inaccurate measures of performance for hospitals. “It would have made much more sense if the banner had said they had cured 40,000 people instead,” wrote one blogger.

"Almost thought it was a hotel," said another. 

Other banners still hung on the hospital walls after the Evening News reporter returned on December 1. These included "Congratulations on our hospital’s success this year for exceeding two hundred cases of laparoscopic surgery" and “Congratulations to our hospital for computerising outpatient workstations for use”.