Officers raid illegal dental clinic

Xu Lingchao
Crackdown campaign underway in the city to expose unlicensed medical practitioners who put their patients at risk to make a profit. 
Xu Lingchao

An illegal dental clinic in a residential complex in Yangpu District was raided by Shanghai Health Commission officers on Monday.

The owner of the illegal clinic is still at large but efforts are being made to track him. He is facing a penalty of up to 100,000 yuan (US$14,450) and the seizure of illegal profits, officials said on Wednesday.

The names of illegal medical practitioners go on the credit reference system blacklist meaning they will be unable to buy train or flight tickets or book hotels.

The raid was part of a city government crackdown on illegal medical practices which began on June 10 and will run until the rest of the month. 

The clinic had a dental chair and a sink and there were medicine bottles and cabinets containing medical instruments. 

The owner of the clinic was nowhere to be found and calls to his phone went unanswered. 

Wang Bin, with the Yangpu District Inspection Agency, said investigations showed the clinic was unlicensed and even the building was an illegal construction. 

The officers seized the contents of the clinic and the building is to be demolished. 

Shanghai Health Commission data shows that the city has cracked down on 615 illegal medical practice cases since 2018. As a result, the numbers of complaints about illegal medical practice have dropped about 10 percent a year since then.

The health commission encourages people to report any suspicious medical practices to the authority.

“Many unlicensed medical practitioners fled to suburban areas for they thought it would be harder for us to nab them,” said Wang Yuelong, with the Shanghai Health Inspection Agency under Shanghai Health Commission. “They hide in rental warrens and change their dens frequently.”

In downtown areas, illegal medical practitioners often charge large fees for cosmetic treatments that hide behind intriguing titles such as “traditional Chinese medicine for health preservation” or “secret prescription handed down from ancestors.”

Wang said these “doctors” don’t sterilize instruments properly and some even use fake medicines that can harm patients.

The Shanghai Health Commission hotline is 962223 and callers who expose illegal practices may be granted rewards from 500 to 3,000 yuan. 

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