China probes hospital appointment scalping

2016-01-27 13:12:22 GMT2016-01-27 21:12:22(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's top medical authority will investigate and punish scalping in hospital outpatient bookings, a spokesperson announced Wednesday.

A video clip went viral on China's social network this week recording a young girl weeping inconsolably while claiming that hospital staff colluded with scalpers.

The girl said she had been waiting in the hospital for an outpatient appointment for two days, and still could not get a ticket. A scalper offered her an appointment for 4,500 yuan (684 U.S. dollars), a booking ticket originally priced at 300 yuan.

Guang'anmen Hospital in Beijing, where the incident took place, replied on its website that it has no evidence that staff collude with scalpers.

Mao Qun'an, spokesman of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said Beijing municipal health department would look into the incident, and any medical staff found hoarding appointment tickets or selling them to scalpers would be severely punished.

Mao said the commission also required the hospital and local medical department to cooperate with the police to investigate scalping.

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