The Shihlin District Prosecutors' Office yesterday said that pros-ecutors have begun to investigate whether Gandau Hospital, operated by Veterans General Hospital, should be blamed for not reporting a suspected SARS patient to the Department of Health and the Taipei City Government's Bureau of Health as soon as is should have.
The Taipei City Government has taken the oversight as a violation of the Communicable Disease Prevention Law (
"In addition to the city government's NT$300,000 fine, on the same day, our prosecutors also began to investigate whether the hospital should take the responsibility for the alleged SARS outbreak inside the hospital," said Wang Jen-kuei (王壬貴), the spokesman for the Shihlin District Prosecutors' Office.
Wang said that prosecutors have looked up documents, such as patients' records, from the Bureau of Health and the hospital itself but they have not decided whom to summon as of press time yesterday.
However, Wang also said that the city government's NT$300,000 fine is regarded as an important precedent for prosecutors.
"Usually, the bureau's officials will not issue a heavy fine like this if they do not obtain any evidence of violation," he said.
According to the Bureau of Health, a janitor at the hospital developed a fever on May 14 and the hospital was supposed to report him as a suspected SARS patient to the bureau and the department on the same day.
However, the hospital did not do so until May 17. During these three days, 10 people at the hospital, including doctors, nurses, nurses' families and patients, also began to develop a fever and were all listed as suspected SARS patients.
As of press time yesterday, none of these patients was confirmed as a SARS patient.
The bureau believed that it was the hospital's mistake.
In addition to the fine, Gandau's superintendent, Wang Sun-sang (
Wang was transferred back to Veterans.