When a 34-year-old man in China’s Inner Mongolian region went to a private hospital for an operation on Feb. 28, he thought it would be a straightforward 1,200-yuan (about $200) deal.
But after the doctor, surnamed Yuan, took Mr. Suo into the operating room and got halfway through the surgery, he stopped abruptly to inform him of other problems in the part of his body undergoing treatment.
“Halfway in the operation, the doctor told me that I had to hand him another 7,000 yuan (about $1,000),” Suo said in an interview with Xinhua, the state mouthpiece. “Otherwise, he said he would stitch up the wound that he just cut open.”
Still lying on the operating table, Suo bargained with the doctor: he would pay 2,100 yuan upfront and leave his driver’s license as collateral until he was able to scrounge up money to cover the full fee.
Later, Suo felt increasingly angry about the incident.
“How can he just stitch up a wound without finishing the operation? Nobody at the hospital told me about this kind of problem beforehand. How can they just charge extra fees at will!” Suo told Xinhua.
Wu Lina directs the hospital, which is located in the city of Hohhot. She said that the additional fees are reasonable because seven extra ailments were found during the operation. She did not elaborate on what the other seven conditions were, and said that the hospital has returned Suo the 2,100 yuan and his driver’s license.
Later, Yuan and another doctor who examined Suo were found to lack registration certificates for their medical work, said Wu Jiying, who heads the public health authorities’ sanitation department in Hohhot. The doctors have acted unlawfully, he told Xinhua, and the case will be handled seriously.