Two department heads from Gaoxin Hospital in Xi'an, China, were sacked, and a general manager from the hospital was suspended after a woman who was eight months pregnant suffered a miscarriage.
She was denied entry into the medical facility, Financial Times reported.
The head of Xi'an's health commission also received a warning for malpractice in emergency treatment from the Chinese Communist Party.
Xi'an has been under lockdown, affecting about 13 million residents in the city, since Dec. 23, 2021, due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Waited for four hours and miscarried
The woman's niece recounted her aunt's experience through a Chinese social media site, Weibo.
The hashtag related to the incident had garnered more than 600 million views, SupChina reported.
She wrote that her aunt called an ambulance on the evening of Jan. 1 as she was experiencing intense pain in her abdomen.
However, when her aunt arrived at the hospital, she was not admitted as her Covid-19 test result expired two hours before that.
Even as her aunt's husband pleaded to the hospital staff for emergency care, she was refused entry.
After about four hours of waiting outside the hospital, the staff changed their minds and took her in.
By then, the lady had already suffered a miscarriage.
Hospital was told to apologise
According to Bloomberg, a statement was released on Jan. 6 by the local government stating that an investigation had concluded the day before that the incident was an "accident caused by negligence".
The local government had also ordered the hospital to compensate the lady.
The hospital was also told to apologise to the woman.
Resources stretched thin
According to SupChina, most local hospitals in Xi'an had suspended visits due to limited resources as they were redirected for mass testing and treating Covid-19 patients.
Other hospitals remained open to the public, but there are strict Covid-19 protocols put in place regardless of their vaccination status.
Those who display Covid-19 symptoms were not allowed to visit hospitals and were required to seek medical attention from community workers.
New initiatives for higher-risk patients
The vice mayor of Xi'an, Xu Mingfei, said that new initiatives had been put in place for residents who require urgent medical attention unrelated to Covid-19, SupChina reported.
The initiatives include setting up a helpline to direct callers to locate nearby medical facilities.
For high-risk individuals, including pregnant women and those in need of urgent treatment such as dialysis and chemotherapy, a fleet of cars had also been designated to transport them from their homes to the medical facility.
Xu added that for those who are at lower risk, hospitals are not allowed to turn patients away so long as they have been tested negative for Covid-19 within 48 hours of the visit.
SupChina pointed out that Xu did not reference the miscarriage incident when announcing the new initiatives.
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