Monday September 23, 2019

China To Step Up Its Fight Against Health Care Irregularities

Police in northern China's Hebei province said last week that they had launched an investigation into Hualin Acid-Base Technology

0
//
China
A man walks outside a branch of traditional Chinese medicine firm Quanjian Group in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, Dec. 27, 2018. VOA

China will step up its fight against “irregularities” in the sale of health care products after a series of scandals in the industry in recent months, state media reported Thursday, citing senior officials.

Zhang Mao, minister at the State Administration for Market Regulation, told China Central Television in an interview that the country’s health sector was “rampant with irregularities” and plans were underway to put it under greater scrutiny.

China launched a 100-day campaign at the start of the month to crack down on illegal advertising and other violations in the industry following a number of high-profile cases.

China, Vaccines
A child receives a vaccination shot at a hospital in Rongan in China’s southern Guangxi region on July 23, 2018. VOA

“Recently, serious problems involving the health products market have been exposed, such as fake promotions, illegal advertising and deceiving consumers,” the China Daily newspaper quoted Zhang as saying at the launch the campaign.

Earlier this month, police arrested the founder of Quanjian Nature Medicine Technology, a traditional Chinese medicine firm, amid allegations of fraudulent practice following the death of a 7-year-old girl who had used the company’s products as part of her cancer treatment.

Market regulators are also investigating local branches of Infinitus, a multibillion-yuan Chinese company, after it was accused of selling products that damaged a child’s heart.

USA, China, Trade War
Plastic bags of fentanyl are displayed at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. VOA

Many of the recent investigations have focused on “multilevel marketing” schemes in which members buy products from the company and then sell them on. Though this “direct selling” is allowed in China, “pyramid selling” — which uses income generated from new members to pay off older members — has been banned.

Also Read: 2 War-Stricken Towns In Somalia Finally Receive Health care : UN

Police in northern China’s Hebei province said last week that they had launched an investigation into Hualin Acid-Base Technology, a local health product company accused of operating a pyramid selling scheme and misleading customers.

Last week, the Guangdong provincial government in southeastern China also summoned 32 locally registered “direct sales” firms — including Infinitus and the U.S.-based Amway — to issue a warning against malpractice. The firms agreed to sign a pledge not to deceive consumers about the therapeutic benefits of their products, according to the official Xinhua news agency. (VOA)

Next Story

WHO Calling for Urgent Action to End Bad Health Care Practices Responsible for Killing Millions of Patients

WHO issued a report in advance of the first World Patient Safety Day on September 17

0
WHO, Health Care, Patients
Intravenous bags hang above young cancer patients at Rady's Children Hospital in San Diego, California, Sept. 4, 2019. VOA

The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to end bad health care practices responsible for killing millions of patients around the world every year.  WHO issued a report in advance of the first World Patient Safety Day on September 17.

People who fall ill go to their doctor or sign themselves into a hospital in the expectation of receiving treatment that will cure them. Unfortunately, in many cases the treatment they receive will kill them

The World Health Organization reports one in 10 patients is harmed in high-income countries. It says 134 million patients in low-and-middle-income countries are harmed because of unsafe care leading to 2.6 million deaths annually. WHO notes most of these deaths are avoidable.

Neelam Dhingra-Kuram is WHO coordinator of Patient Safety and Risk Management. She said harm occurs mainly because of wrong diagnosis, wrong prescriptions, the improper use of medication, incorrect surgical procedures and health care associated infections.

WHO, Health Care, Patients
The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to end bad health care practices responsible for killing millions of patients around the world every year. Pixabay

“But the major reason for this harm is that in the health care facilities, in the system there is lack of patient safety culture. And, that means that the leadership is not strong enough…So, lack of open communication, lack of systems to learn from mistakes and errors. So, already suppose errors are happening and harm is taking place. If you do not learn from it, it is really a lost opportunity,” she said.

Dhingra-Kuram said systems must be created where health care workers are encouraged to report mistakes and are not fearful of being blamed for reporting errors.

Besides the avoidable and tragic loss of life, WHO reports patient harm leads to economic losses of trillions of dollars globally each year. It says medication errors alone cost an estimated $42 billion annually.

Also Read- New York Government Pushing to Enact Statewide Ban on Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes

On the other hand, WHO says a study in the United States finds safety improvement in patient care has resulted in estimated savings of $28 billion in Medicare hospitals between 2010 and 2015. (VOA)