Emergency staff punished for driving to tourism resort

Updated: 2012-05-16 19:38

By An Baijie (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Three staff members from an emergency medical center in East China's Zhejiang province were punished after they have driven an ambulance to a tourism resort in Central China's Henan province while they were transferring a patient.

The punishment came in response to public anger that arose after netizens posted photos to the Internet showing an ambulance near a scenic spot in Henan province, China News Agency reported.

The three staff members — two drivers and a doctor from the Ningbo Emergency Medical Center — started at about 6 pm on May 2 on a trip to take a patient from Ningbo, Zhejiang province, to Dengzhou No 3 People's Hospital in Henan province, said Ge Lin, director of the Ningbo center, who was in charge of investigating the case.

They arrived at the hospital on the morning of May 3 after driving for 13 hours without taking a rest. The drivers were so exhausted after the 1,138-kilometer trip that they lost their way on their return, Ge said.

Even though they recognized their mistake, they continued to drive in the wrong direction, deciding to take in the sights at the Shaolin Temple, China's most famous Buddhist temple, Ge said.

They parked the ambulance in front of a police station in Dengfeng city, about 13 kilometers away from the temple. They then ate a meal in a nearby restaurant and drove back after two hours, Ge said.

The three people said they avoided going to the Shaolin Temple because they were afraid they would be associated with the ambulance.

Judging by toll receipts provided by the three workers, they had not had enough time to visit scenic spots, according to Ge.

The two drivers and the doctor were unavailable to comment.

Because the three workers had originally wanted to go sightseeing during business hours, their bonuses were confiscated, Ge said.