Thirteen medical workers in north China's Tianjin Municipality have received punishment for taking bribes from a milk powder producer, the local government announced on Monday.
China Central Television reported in September that French company Danone, which markets its infant formula under the brand Dumex, gave kickbacks to medical staff in Tianjin Central Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology to feed newborn babies its infant formula products, so the babies would develop a taste for the product.
The Tianjin Health Bureau, together with local government and police, pledged to investigate the scandal after it emerged.
According to the investigation results published by the local government, 116 people from 85 hospitals and health organizations have taken commercial bribes from Danone to give lectures to the parents of newborns, introduce and recommend Dumex milk powder, and give free product samples.
Thirteen serious violators were given punishment including cancellation of medical licenses and deduction of salaries. Six authorities from the medical departments of both municipal and district levels have received administrative sanctions of warnings or even records of demerit.
All the bribes taken by the 116 people have been collected, according to the government statement.
On September 17th, after the secret deals were reported, the National Health and Family Planning Commission told hospitals to strictly abide by the law governing breast milk substitutes.