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Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Gaming doctor 'caused baby death'

Archive photo of mother and baby in an Anhui provincial hospital Oct 09
Many parents in China complain about healthcare provision

A five-month-old Chinese baby has died in a hospital because his doctor was busy playing a game online while his condition worsened, reports say.

Officials from the Jiangsu provincial health department said that Dr Mao Xiaojun would be sacked from Nanjing Children's Hospital.

The hospital first said he was working on a thesis but later admitted he was playing an online game of Go.

Parents have been angered by a series of major health blunders in China.

"Mao lied to us a few days ago," Li Shandong, director of health care reform in the Jiangsu provincial health department, told the state-run China Daily newspaper.

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

He said Dr Mao did not follow hospital regulations and that his sluggish attitude towards patients led to the boy's death, the China Daily reported.

Further punishments

The baby was taken to Nanjing Children's Hospital on the afternoon of 3 November with an eye infection.

Dr Mao was found to have ignored the parent's pleas for help when the baby's condition worsened, a statement from Jiangsu's provincial health department cited by China Daily said.

The baby died early the next morning from complications caused by the eye infection, the statement said.

Eleven other hospital employees, including the facility's president and party chief, will also be punished over the incident, Xinhua news agency reported.

More than 10,000 lawsuits relating to medical disputes have been filed in Chinese courts every year since 2002, Xinhua reported.



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