Recently, a doctor and nurses at a hospital in northern China allegedly left the intensive care unit (ICU) of the cardiology department to go pose for a photograph for a hospital brochure
It has been alleged that they failed to properly attend to an elderly woman who was admitted at Wenshui County People's Hospital in Shanxi province on the night of 14 July. She died the next morning.
According to a report in South China Morning Post (SCMP) yesterday, 24 July, the doctor was posing for photographs for a hospital brochure while the 84-year-old woman, who was one of his patients, was in need of emergency medical care.
The patient, Kang Jinlian, suffering from nausea was transferred to the ICU of the cardiology department after being admitted at about 9pm on Sunday.
While the family was waiting for the doctor to check on her condition, the medical staff allegedly left the ward and went to another area of the hospital where a photographer was taking pictures for a brochure, SCMP reported Kang's grandson as saying.
The elderly woman's pain intensified and her condition worsened during the 20-minute duration that the medical staff were away
According to the woman's grandson, over a 20-minute period, he and his family tried four times to get a doctor to look at his grandmother but without success.
On Tuesday, 23 July, the health authority in Shanxi issued a statement, expressing its condolences to the woman's family
In the statement issued on social media, the health authority also expressed shock at the apparent way in which the situation had been handled.
Saying that it had "zero tolerance" for unethical behaviour, the statement said that a doctor from the hospital in Wenshui had been suspended pending a full investigation.
Once completed, the results of the inquiry would be made public, it said.