Xinhua News Agency (02.27.13)
China’s Ministry of Health is imploring local institutions and health departments to implement safer practices after 99 people contracted hepatitis C through contaminated injections from a private clinic in the city of Donggang in northeast China's Liaoning province. The ministry released a circular on February 27 stating that an expert investigative team cited the scandal as a "major mass hospital infection incident caused by serious violations of medical regulations and procedures." The circular explained that the clinic originally belonged to the Donggang Social Security Bureau, a public nonprofit medical institution; however, its surgery department was illegally leased to two individuals who used new treatment methods that violated normal medical practices to treat 120 patients with varicose veins from October 22, 2012, to January 28, 2013. Ninety-nine patients contracted hepatitis C during these procedures.
The ministry stated in the circular that the incident has uncovered serious problems regarding safety management, professional practices, and infection control at some local-level medical institutions. Authorities are investigating the individuals directly responsible for the incident; those responsible for the incident may face criminal charges. Others who took part in the scandal have been fired or suspended. The ministry urged local health departments to provide stronger supervision over the safety and service quality of local medical institutions, and stressed that a ban should be placed on illegally posted medical advertisements and the contracting of medical work to other groups and individuals. To ensure safety, the ministry launched a campaign encouraging local administrations to check local medical institutions for infection risks by April 30.