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Wuhan medical organs' services suspended amid child trafficking investigation

By Di Fang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-11-28 17:37

The Wuhan health authority has suspended a municipal hospital and a judicial appraisal institute from conducting certain services on Tuesday, after they were reported online to be involved in illegal acts like surrogacy or fake paternity results.

Wuhan Puren Hospital has been suspended from releasing birth certificate qualifications and Wuhan Ruiboxiang Judicial Appraisal Institute has been suspended from providing judicial appraisal services, according to a statement released by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission on Tuesday.

Additionally, a joint special task force including professionals from health, public security and judicial organs have been set up to probe the alleged activities and conduct investigations into the accused hospital and institute, the statement said.

Based on the investigation results, the municipal health commission will hold the hospital and institute accountable in accordance with laws and regulations.

The two medical organs were accused of illegal activities on Friday by an influencer who recently aroused public attention on child trafficking.

On Nov 24, Shangguanzhengyi, a Sina Weibo user with 300,000 followers, alleged that some intermediary organizations are working with Wuhan Puren Hospital for surrogacy on his weibo account. He also said that the Wuhan Ruiboxiang Judicial Appraisal Institute could provide counterfeit paternity test results for "adopted" children, then the parents could provide the fake results for medical organs to reissue the birth certificate, giving the non-biological children a fake identification. The entire service costs around 180,000 yuan ($25,165) in cash.

"I have noticed similar practices of using fake paternity test results to give legal identification for abducted children in other places since 2020," he said on his weibo account, asking authorities to stop such illegal practices and stop child trafficking.

He has gained wide public attention after he reported on his weibo account about many hospitals' illegal conducts in birth certificates.

For example, in early November, he accused Xiangyang Jianqiao Hospital, a private hospital in Xiangyang of Hubei province, of colluding with agencies to give fake birth certificates and infant vaccination records, which could be verified and accepted since they uploaded via official channels. Their illegal business is allegedly intended to cover up sales of babies and enable trafficked babies to have legal documents registered with governments as he said.

After his reports, the city's health and judicial authorities initiated probes into the case, and six people, including the president of the hospital, have been detained till Nov 12, according to the statements from authorities.

Many cities in Hubei province have launched thorough checks and reviews on birth certificate services in hospitals, and some, such as Huanggang city, introduced a lifelong accountability system, according to a report from CGTN Radio on Nov 13.

Wang Songsong contributed to this story.

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