Chinese doctor under investigation after asking patient for more money during operation

Woman asked to scan QR code to cover cost of second procedure, which was later found to have been unnecessary

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 6:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 6:09pm

A surgeon in northeastern China accused of asking a patient to pay for an add-on procedure while she was undergoing an operation is being investigated by the health authorities, according to a local media report.

The 20-year-old patient, identified only as Jiang Meng, was diagnosed with cervical erosion by a doctor at a hospital in Dalian, a port city in Liaoning province, New Culture Daily reported on Friday.

The doctor, surnamed Wang, said Jiang needed to undergo surgery immediately, and she consented.

However, as the surgeon was carrying out the procedure – the report did not make clear if this was Wang or another doctor – Jiang was told that she had another medical problem that also needed urgent attention.

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The surgeon then presented her with a card printed with a QR code and said the additional procedure would cost 1,860 yuan (US$286).

Jiang used her WeChat Pay account to pay some of the fee – she had only 600 yuan left in her account – and made up the difference later, the report said.

After leaving the hospital, Jiang was concerned about what had happened and sought a second opinion from a doctor at a different hospital. That person, who was not named, told her the second procedure had been unnecessary, the report said.

Jiang later wrote about her experiences on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, news portal reported.

Her post was seen by the Health and Family Planning Commission in Dalian, which contacted her and launched an investigation into the matter.

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While the commission has yet to release its findings, an employee at the first hospital was quoted by New Culture Daily as saying that it was standard practice for doctors to carry cards printed with the QR codes for various procedures and treatments.

“Many unpredictable things can happen during an operation, and we can’t have patients running up and down [looking for money]”, the person said.