Guangdong scandal leads to care center inspections, call for reforms

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/22 14:28:39

Local civil affairs authorities given up to April for findings

China's top civil affairs authority has ordered reforms at foster care centers, after a welfare home in South China's Guangdong Province reportedly caused 20 deaths in 49 days this year.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has instructed local civil affairs departments throughout the nation to immediately inspect and rectify care centers, and to report back to the ministry before April 10, The Beijing News reported on Wednesday.

The ministry said that all local civil affairs departments should learn from the case of the Lianxi Foster Center in Guangdong and guarantee the legal rights and interests of homeless people.

The ministry ordered a thorough inspection of the care centers' qualifications, facilities, services, safety measures, bidding process, sources of funds and funding standards.

Institutes deemed not qualified to offer foster services should be stopped immediately, and those that violate the law or rules should be made accountable.

Records at a local funeral home show that, from January 1 to February 18, the Lianxi Foster Center of Xinfeng county, an NGO registered in 2010, delivered 20 corpses.

The civil affairs bureau of Xinfeng has demanded that the center rectify its mistakes, and asked other institutes to take over the rest 733 people at the center.

The center's legal representative and staffers were taken into custody in connection with the possible embezzlement of government subsidies. The officials involved in the case were also questioned or suspended, China Central Television reported on Wednesday.

Lin Jing (pseudonym), an official at the civil affairs bureau of Huizhou, Guangdong said on Tuesday that they took back 13 homeless people from the Lianxi Foster Center, about half of whom suffer from tuberculosis, hepatitis B or syphilis, The Beijing News reported on Wednesday.

An anonymous employee from a rescue station said that they had sent more than 200 people to the Lianxi center in the past six years, with almost 100 dying there, mostly from pneumonia.

"They were sent there healthy," the employee said, but some of the people they took back on March 2 were found suffering from tuberculosis, syphilis or HIV.

Another Huizhou official said that only the Lianxi welfare home would take in homeless people with infectious diseases, so rescue stations in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other cities in Guangdong all sent these people to Lianxi.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs also ordered provincial departments to inspect the management information system and networks to help the homeless find their relatives, said The Beijing News. Information of homeless people stranded in care centers should be posted on a dedicated website run by the ministry, read the ministry's notice.

Posted in: SOCIETY,LAW

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