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China bans online medical diagnoses


BEIJING, April 12 (Xinhua) — Hospitals offering medical advice
online should not provide diagnoses via these services, ruled China's
health regulator Sunday.

In an Internet era, Chinese patients are accustomed to seeking
medical advice on the Internet. Some private hospitals have launched
Internet services offering online diagnosis.

Song Shuli, spokeswoman for the National Health and Family Planning
Commission, said these services may be provided by people who are
unqualified in medicine, unlike face-to-face diagnosis.

Song only referred to services provided to individuals. Consultations between hospitals and doctors are not banned.

In January, the regulator started a pilot scheme allowing Beijing's People's Liberation Army General Hospital, Peking Union Medical College Hospital and China-Japan
Friendship Hospital to give online diagnoses to patients in five
less-developed regions including Ningxia and Yunnan. Patients must
register before accessing the services.

Song said the regulator will continue to improve policies guaranteeing the reliability of online medical services.


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