Six suspects arrested for selling birth certificates in Hubei; personnel involved in Guangxi, Guangdong under custody
Published: Nov 12, 2023 08:09 PM
Photo: Screenshot from CITY Report

Photo: Screenshot from CITY Report

Six suspects including Xiangyang Jianqiao Hospital director have been approved for arrest by the prosecuting authorities in China following a netizen reporting that the hospital sold birth medical certificates, Xiangyang city authorities in Central China's Hubei Province announced on Sunday. Personnel from hospitals in Guangxi and Guangdong have been taken into custody for their involvement in the illegal activities of selling birth medical certificates.

Xiangyang immediately set up a special work team to conduct investigations in accordance with the laws and regulations after the reports said that Ye, 55, the director of the hospital, sold birth certificates on November 6.

The public security organs in Xiangyang have detained the other four suspects in accordance with the law, and investigations are underway, said the authorities. Meanwhile, the health authorities have revoked Ye's doctor practicing certificate and another suspect, Liu's nurse practicing certificate. 

Xiangyang Jianqiao Hospital has been disqualified from issuing birth medical certificates and practicing maternal and child health care services, said the authorities. 

The discipline inspection and supervision organs started to investigate relevant officials or civil servants for failing to conduct their duty and discipline violations, and have placed 13 individuals under investigation for their involvement in the case, according to the authorities.

Multiple local health authorities including Hubei Province, Southwest China's Sichuan Province and Northeast China's Jilin Province, have carried out supervision and inspection of the management of birth medical certificates in hospitals following the incidents, with some areas focusing on inspecting the invalid certificates management. 

In Beichuan county, Sichuan Province, the health authorities inspected four medical institutions on the management and issuance of birth medical certificates. The authorities in Yingshan county, Hubei Province, focused on inspecting the implementation of the initial issuance, replacement and reissuance of the birth medical certificate. Any problems found should be addressed on the spot with rectification suggestions, and a deadline should be set for the rectification measures, according to media reports.

The Xiangyang Jianqiao Hospital director was reported on November 6 to have openly sold birth medical certificates, earning over 60,000 yuan ($8,241) for each. The investigation was taken by the journalist together with an anti-human trafficking volunteer nicknamed Shangguan Zhengyi on social media platform, who exclaimed that the action was shocking and horrifying beyond imagination.

Shangguan also posted on X-like social media Sina Weibo that another hospital in Foshan, South China's Guangdong Province, has been reported to have sold fake birth certificates for 120,000 yuan each, including a complete set of authentic hospitalization and childbirth records. 

The relevant person in charge of the hospital has been detained, and investigations are still ongoing, said Foshan local health authorities, according to Guangzhou Daily on Saturday.

Another involved hospital in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has suspended gynecology and obstetrics services and the relevant person in charge have been detained, Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

The health and public security authorities in Nanning are conducting a joint investigation into the involved Nanning Chenghe Hospital. The Nanning municipal health commission stated that medical institutions found to have engaged in illegal activities will be dealt with firmly, and individuals involved will be punished based on the law and regulations.

Chinese netizens have called for a further thorough investigation over the incident to crackdown on the illegal activities.