Thu, Mar 04, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Hospital staff impeached

TRIPLE JEOPARDY It took three bites of the cherry, but the Control Yuan finally censured two Hoping Hospital staff for poor administration during the SARS outbreak

STAFF WRITER

Two senior hospital administrators have been impeached by the Control Yuan for mishandling last year's SARS outbreak.

Former Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital superintendent Wu Kang-wen (吳康文) and infectious diseases department director Lin Jong-ti (林榮第) were found to have worsened the problems that led to SARS transmission within the country.

"During the SARS epidemic, Hoping Hospital failed to stem the virus from spreading, leading to the transmission of the virus to patients at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Mackay Memorial Hospital, etc. If no one takes responsibility for what happened, can justice have been served?" wrote Chao Chang-ping (趙昌平), a member of the Control Yuan who had sought an investigation of Wu and Lin during the SARS outbreak.

The Control Yuan voted 8-1 yesterday to impeach Wu and Lin. It cited a failure to effectively manage the spread of the SARS virus and a failure to seal off Ho-ping Hospital in a timely fashion at the height of the outbreak.

The former director of the Taipei City Health Bureau, Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞), was also investigated, but narrowly escaped impeachment by one vote.

The investigation was first proposed and voted on by a nine-member committee of the Control Yuan last October and once again in January this year but failed to proceed.

Control Yuan procedures allow an individual case to be investigated three times. The exoneration of Chiou, therefore, cannot be overturned.

Punishment for Wu and Lin will be determined by the Judicial Yuan's Committee on the Discipline of Public Functionaries.

However, neither man presently holds government posts. Wu is currently serving as an medical advisor at Taipei Municipal Chunghsiao Hospital, while Lin is a physician at Hoping Hospital.

The Control Yuan said it would soon begin investigating the Taipei City Government on related matters.

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