The Department of Health (DOH) has ordered a probe into reports of a Chinese doctor coming to the country to solicit Taiwanese interested in seeking liver transplants in China, a department official said yesterday.
Hsueh Jui-yuan (
The Tianjin hospital is touted as the biggest liver transplant center in Asia.
Hsueh said the DOH had instructed the Taipei City Government's health agency to investigate the matter.
If Zhu came to Taiwan under the pretext of medical exchanges, but instead tried to solicit liver disease sufferers, he could face charges if he ever returns to Taiwan, Hsueh said.
Zhu could face a prison term of between six months and five years because he did not inform the DOH about his intentions in advance and is not a licensed practitioner in Taiwan, Hsueh said.
He said that if Taiwanese doctors were found to have helped Zhu solicit patients and bought or sold organs, they could be disciplined for violation of medical ethics and have their licenses revoked.
The organization that invited Zhu to come to Taiwan would be dealt with according to the Statute Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (
Hsueh also said that Zhu had visited Taiwan at least twice and that he had ordered the city government to find out more details about those trips.
Hsueh said that the standards of Taiwan's organ transplants were on par with "those of the world" and safer than those done in China.
More than 7,000 people in the country are awaiting organ transplants, but he lamented that only about 100 people donate organs each year, creating a serious imbalance between supply and demand.
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