As one of the most selective medical colleges in China, Peking Union Medical College Hospital was founded in 1906, and now this name has been used unofficially by over 1,700 hospitals across the country.
"Only three of the more than 1,700 'Union Hospitals' in China are authentic," the China Central Television (CCTV) wrote on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.
In recent years, hospitals with the name of "union" can be seen in many places. Some call themselves as branch hospitals of "Union Hospital," while others say they belong to "Union medical group."
According to CCTV's claim, people will find more than 1,700 results when searching for "union hospitals", but most of them are unrelated to this well-known brand.
"There are only two 'Union Hospitals', Wuhan Union Hospital and Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, are relevant to the Peking Union Medical College Hospital," Chen Mingyan, the executive deputy director of publicity department of Peking Union Medical College Hospital told the CCTV, "And the Peking Union Medical College Hospital does not have any affiliated, cooperative and cooperative hospital in China."
Dingzhou Union Hospital, located in north China's Hebei province, has been suspended and shut down as an illegal release of medical advertisements, fabricating diseases and many other illicit activities.
CCTV reported that in June 2018, a patient went to the hospital to have her pre-pregnancy examined and the doctor suggested cervical polypectomy costing 13,000 yuan (1,873 US dollars).
However, according to a staff member of the local public hospital, the cost of cervical polypectomy is generally about 2,000 yuan (288 US dollars). The Dingzhou Union Hospital charged six times more expensive than the general public hospitals.
Although it has nothing to do with Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Dingzhou Union Hospital claimed it was a part of the "union brand chain" with large signage posted in its out-patient hall.
Due to relevant regulations of business administration in China, Peking Union Medical College Hospital can only use its full name "Peking Union Medical College Hospital" as its registered trademark. Therefore, those “pretenders” like Dingzhou Union can still be registered and operated.
With the increasing number of "union hospitals", CCTV suggested that local authorities should intensify law enforcement and help people avoid being cheated.