Sun, Jan 16, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Hospital confession points to possible staff negligence

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei City Deputy Mayor Yeh Chin-chuan, center, and Department of Health Director Chang Heng, left, make a pre-dawn inspection tour of Jen-ai Hospital yesterday in connection with the incident in which city hospitals tunred away a critically-injured infant girl, causing a public uproar.

PHOTO: FANG CHAO-PIN, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taipei Municipal Jen Ai Hospital's confession yesterday that it would have been possible to spare an additional bed for a critically injured girl, surnamed Chiu, will give a boost to investigations into potential negligence by hospital personnel, prosecutors said.

"I can assure you that prosecutors have outlined the entire case and interrogations of certain people have already begun," said Lin Bang-liang (林邦樑), spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office. "However, we did value the statement by Jen Ai personnel to the Taipei City Government last night. That will help our investigation a lot."

According to Lin, Taipei Prosecutor Chen Chia-hsiu (陳佳秀) is currently in charge of the investigation. Chen arrived at Jen Ai Hospital on Friday afternoon, collected patient records as well as medical records on Chiu and began to question doctors and nurses at the hospital.

At press time yesterday, Chen has finished questioning six people at the hospital.

In the meantime, Chen also contacted other municipal hospitals in the city to see whether all of their beds were also fully occupied on that day.

Lin said that prosecutors are also trying to figure out the process by which hospitals refer their patients to other hospitals when their resources and manpower are fully occupied. In addition, they are also trying to determine an accurate number of all available beds at different hospitals in the city on Jan. 10, when Chiu was hospitalized but told that there was no available bed for her.

"Somebody must have been lazy or told a lie," Lin said. "We are trying to figure out who those people were."

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