The Ministry of Health's planning and finance chief said yesterday it was still investigating why the ministry was instructing hospitals to buy a piece of medical equipment that costs 40 per cent more than similar products on the market. Representatives of hospitals and medical equipment manufacturers applauded enthusiastically when a Xinhua reporter posed that question to Zhao Zilin at a press conference. 'Can the ministry explain why the much more expensive manufacturer wins the bid,' the reporter asked. 'The reason a product costing 40 per cent more wins the bid is because of its quality, performance and after-sales service,' Mr Zhao said, adding that the bottom line was not always the product's cost. His answer was met with boos from the audience. Afterward, Mr Zhao was hounded by equipment makers who demanded to discuss the matter in person with central government officials. 'You should summarise your opinions, write them down and file them with the ministry,' Mr Zhao said.