China to crack down on hospital appointment touts
Updated: 2016-02-24 22:41
BEIJING -- The top medical authority aims to root out the practice of reselling hospital outpatient appointments, a health official announced Wednesday.
Jiao Yahui, an official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said the campaign will be rolled out across Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
In addition, Jiao said, policy will follow that aims to address the deep-seated problems feeding hospital appointment scalping.
A system is needed that would see patients go to different hospitals according to their illness, rather than crowding big hospitals regardless of their actual needs.
Moreover, referral services will be promoted, so that patients can book doctor visits via their community doctors or family doctors, Jiao said.
Hospital appointment scalping entered media spotlight earlier this year following a video posted online that showed a woman in a furious fit of rage with a scalper after she failed to get an appointment.
The woman said she had been waiting 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 huge markup on its 300 yuan face value.
The video amplified public ire over access to medical care.
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