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China cracks down on hospital scalpers, online cappers

Updated: May 4,2016 9:38 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China launched a campaign to address the practice of hospital appointment scalping and online posers on May 3.

From now to the end of the year, police will inspect major hospitals and their surroundings. Doctors are not allowed to add more appointments and all appointments must be strictly managed, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, one of the departments taking part in the campaign.

The Cyberspace Administration of China, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security, and State Administration for Industry and Commerce are all also involved in the campaign.

Other departments include the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Logistic Support Department of the Central Military Commission.

Medical advertisements will be regulated, a joint statement by departments involved in the campaign said, and online medical advertisements must be approved by the health authority.

Known hospital appointment scalpers will be added to a database, and this will be linked to their social credit history.

In the longer term, health system reform should be expanded, medical resource distribution be optimized and medical advertising be standardized, according to the statement.

The campaign follows the death of a college student who was given ineffective cancer treatment after seeing an advertisement on Chinese search engine Baidu that claimed a high success rate for the treatment.

The incident has outraged society. Baidu and the hospital, the Second Hospital of the Beijing Armed Police Corps, are being investigated.