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Baby dies while doctor allegedly plays game online in E China city
Published on: 2009-11-13
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NANJING, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- A 5-month old baby died in hospital while the doctor was playing a game online, an investigation has found.

The boy was taken to the Nanjing Children's Hospital in Nanjing, capital city of eastern China's Jiangsu province, last Tuesday with a serious eye infection that can lead to swelling inside the skull.

Though staff said the boy was doing fine in the afternoon, his condition worsened and he died about 1:30 the next morning.

Computer experts later found the ophthalmologist, Mao Xiaojun, had been playing a game of 'go' online, health officials were quoted as saying by Friday's China Daily.

Mao will be dismissed from the hospital and deprived of his medical certificate. A group of 11 other on-duty staff and related personnel, including president and party chief of the hospital, will also be punished, the investigation team told Xinhua.

The incident came to light after an article posted on the Internet condemned Mao and the hospital, alleging he was playing online games.

The hospital initially said that Mao was writing his thesis that night.

However, health officials launched their own investigation by forming an independent investigation team of 14 with experts on medical disputes, journalists, computer experts and representatives of netizens also recruited, they told Xinhua.

"Mao lied to us a few days ago," Li Shaodong, director of the healthcare reform office of the Jiangsu health department, told China Daily.

"He admitted to playing the game of 'go' online after our computer experts checked out evidence on his computer."

He said Mao did not follow hospital regulations and his sluggish attitude toward patients led to the boy's death.

The Jiangsu health department said on Wednesday that the hospital was responsible for the baby's death as its workers did not recognize the baby's serious condition and failed to give him timely treatment.

The hospital refused to make a statement and the victim's family was not available for comment.

The incident has focused attention on negligence and malpractice in hospitals.

Since 2002, more than 10,000 lawsuits over medical disputes have been filed in China each year. Health experts have called for medical staff to improve their skills, and for quicker healthcare reforms.

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