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Cheated by hospital and revenge
My wife has a small problem, which I don't want to go into obviously, which required her to go to the hospital. She already went to the famous Peking Hospital here in Shenzhen, but their blood tests didn't pinpoint the problem. So she searched online and found another hospital which claimed it had a treatment that could not only pinpoint the problem, but also solve it. So yesterday my wife went to that hospital and had to pay 1010 RMB for research. This is a lot, but since the price of the blood tests in Peking hospital was 580 RMB, she accepted it in the hope that this treatment was as good as the doctor told her.

When she entered the exam room, she already became suspicious: there were two machines called "MORA-Super" that supposedly can tell what the problem is and can even cure it. My wife then asked the doctor how this worked, because she was suspicious. It looked like the machines she used in her Electrical Engineering classes in University. Anyway, she already paid and just went along with it, because the doctor made several medical claims. When my wife came home, she realized it was not medical at all though. She felt cheated and told me. I immediately wanted to go back to the hospital to get a refund, but she didn't want to go. Embarrased that she fell for this trap. I insisted though that she didn't make any mistake: she went to a registered hospital in Shenzhen, she asked the doctor about the treatment and the doctor made medical claims. As a patient, you should be able to trust the doctors, so in my opinion she didn't do anything wrong.

After a little bit of researching about this MORA machine, we found the website of the German manufacturer. We are fortunate that the device was made in Germany, because German law doesn't (rightfully) allow the manufacturer to make any medical claims, which they also admit on their website. I did some more research and it was overly obvious that this was very "alternative medicine" and the doctors in China probably also were not allowed to make these kinds of medical claims. She called the hospital and told the doctor, but they refused to refund her.

So we first made a complaint to the Shenzhen Drug Administration. This government office was working in the weekend and wrote down our complaint over the phone and said they would investigate it. That was a very good first step to prevent others falling victim to these kinds of cheating doctors. But we still didn't get our money back. I called the hospital, but they didn't have anyone who could speak English. So I wrote down the arguments for Xiaoxiong and we together prepared all the evidence and especially the point that the doctor was never allowed to make these medical claims.

She then called the hospital, which then gave us the phone number of the department head. He was currently in Xi'an he claimed and also denied to give Xiaoxiong a refund. She then asked if he could speak English and yes, he could. Then I talked to him and I explained we are not interested in hearing anything more about this device from him or meeting them face-to-face as he suggested. I told him that I was the legal representative of Ms Xiong (which I believe I can claim :)). I also confirmed that he stood by the medical claims that were made. I then gave him the option to either refund us, or we would contact a lawyer. We also said our lawyer said we had a strong case. He still refused and became quite agitated, and didn't want us to call him back anymore. He then wanted to talk to Xiaoxiong, but we already had our plan ready so she repeated what I said. The doctor said we should then contact a lawyer, and hung up. Obviously we didn't want to go down that path, but I said to Xiaoxiong that we would now first wait 1 day.

Within 10 minutes he called back! I assume that he talked to the doctor or his hospital lawyers and they came to the conclusion that we were right, or that any legal action from us would be far more harming to the reputation from the hospital than just refunding us. He was suddenly much nicer and said a refund was no problem anymore! The hospital also called us shortly afterwards to confirm when we would come for the refund. We went there at 3 o'clock this midday and went to the doctor who treated my wife. I say "doctor", but I seriously doubt she had any medical license, at maximum a nurse. Anyway, she shortly struggled and wanted us to read a magazine about this device and said they used this in Germany and that this device is used all over China. We said we were not interested and it clearly stated on the manufacturer website this device is not a medical device and no medical claims can be made. She then realized it was useless and quickly went out to get the money. We had to hand in our receipt and book and got the money.

There were also two other "doctors" in the room, who were training there to use this MORA-Super device for other hospitals in China. If they didn't already know this was a bogus treatment, they must be quite embarrassed. So we left and outside my wife could finally laugh again. The stupid cheaters had lost! I hope this article is a warning for anyone else temped to use MORA-Super or any of the 'treatments' from Med-Tronik. They are complete fake and you might not be so lucky as us to get your money refunded!


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Rene   |219.133.62.xxx |2011-06-17 13:36:15
Well done. Nice to read.
Lawrence  - Awesome...   |99.70.219.xxx |2011-06-17 03:03:49
It's good that you stand up for your rights and do not let these greedy people take you for a ride. 1 for you and your wife - 0 for the greedy hospital or clinic. Gd of you to write about it. If i were you, I would post the name of the place too.
Caseyorourke  - They probably encountered an Westerner before...     |96.44.178.xxx |2011-06-20 16:43:46
They probably figure that a Chinese patient would not risk the loss of face by admitting they were snookered and not cause trouble. Whereas us westerners (particularly Americans), when we get cheated we not only want satisfaction, but our pound of flesh too.
James   |220.255.1.xxx |2011-07-04 14:52:03
Good one! I once went with a China tour that has hospital (yes, a proper one) on its itinerary. I was wondering why until they offer free "check-ups" that I politely declined. But other more elderly looking members of the group that took the tests resulted in many kinds of health problems they were "unawared" of - and the doctors then prescribed many expensive medicines. That's the problem when the hospitals are also driven by profits, and even worst, greed.
Thijs     |219.133.62.xxx |2011-07-04 15:13:10
It's a well known fact (and accepted by Chinese) that tour groups always go to some factories or shops where you then get some sales-pitch in the hope that a few people buy the overpriced goods.I didn't know they now even put hospitals on the itinerary! That's a new low Smart choice to decline the checkups!
jos bults  - A bit late but anyway     |183.37.68.xxx |2012-01-06 10:20:11
Indeed it might be a good thing to tell the hospital. As it would be a good thing to make a listing of all the tricks in their books, so people can go out well informed and not get cheated.

We're all decent people I guess, we're not here in China to cheat or to rob people, and it happens to us on a almost daily basis. It has become so common that we actually find it normal not to get all change back, taxidrivers use the wrong rate, shops scales are over weighing things, drinks are fake...

The bad thing is that Chinese - such as your and my wife - feel embarassed and to have lost face and don't pursue it normally.

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 June 2011 )
 
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