Two officials at Chenzhou Children's Hospital in Hunan were displined by the communist party and removed from administrative duties for their roles in passing off cheap industrial oxygen as fit for medical use, the Chenzhou government said. Li Xilian, party secretary at the hospital, abused her power when she arranged for Chenzhou Industrial Gas - for who her husband, Chen Heping , was a legal representative - to supply oxygen to the hospital. Li was expelled from the party and demoted. Her husband was handed to police for a criminal investigation. Party discipline is usually meted out to cadres who breach party rules and those who violate the law are handed over to the criminal justice system. Jiang Zhi, deputy director of the hospital's general office, was sacked. The company, which had no permit to supply medicine and had no contract with the hospital, had been supplying industrial oxygen to the hospital from January 2006 until last month when a local drug regulator received a tip-off. China requires oxygen used in medical treatment to be 99.5 per cent pure, a higher standard than required for industrial oxygen. The company was found to have sold 49,067 cylinders of oxygen, including 30,832 made by the company, to the hospital at 30 yuan (HK$34) per cylinder. A hospital spokesman confirmed that the hospital had paid 30 yuan per cylinder and made no profit from it. However, industrial oxygen generally costs 10-15 yuan per cylinder. Five other officials from the hospital and the local food and drug administration were also warned or required to write a self-criticism for failing to fulfil their duties. Local food and drug regulators found 30 cylinders of the lower-grade oxygen in the hospital after receiving the tip-off in January and ordered the hospital to stop using it. The hospital ignored the order. The scandal was not exposed until local television reporters followed a truck transporting oxygen cylinders for days and found it supplied the hospital twice a day after collecting gas from a remote station run by Chenzhou Industrial Gas. The media exposure triggered a public outcry, and the hospital received more than 40 inquiries and complaints. The hospital has said it will take full responsibility for patients affected by inhaling industrial oxygen. The local drug regulating agency fined the company the equivalent of one year's sales, but an insider, who the television programme did not identify, said the company had been supplying the hospital with low-grade oxygen since 1995.