Public Outrage Erupts in China After Xi’an Man Dies of Angina: “Refused to be seen by all hospitals” Man’s Daughter Writes on Social Media

By Juliet Wei | January 6, 2022
Juliet Wei covers China news and U.S.-China relations and has worked as a correspondent with Senate and House Correspondent Credential at Washington DC. She holds an M.A. in Specialized Journalism from the University of Southern California.
Xi'an Dad died of angina _hospital all refused to diagnose_ Daughter published text trigger public outrage
The man’s daughter said her father was suffering from angina, which is severe chest pain, and was refused by several hospitals before tragically passing away after eight hours. (Image: Screenshot)

Xi’an, the ancient capital of China, has been under a stringent citywide lockdown since Dec. 23 after a surge in COVID-19 cases. In addition to not being allowed to leave their homes, residents have reported a rapidly worsening situation where food and essential supplies are running dangerously low.

On Jan. 6, state media reported on a tragic incident in which a Xi’an resident was refused to be seen by several hospitals, resulting in his death.

The man’s daughter said her father was suffering from angina, which is severe chest pain, and was refused by several hospitals before tragically passing away after eight hours. 

According to the report by the Beijing Youth Daily, on Jan. 5, Xi’an netizen “Sunflower00000” posted an article describing how her father experienced a sudden onset of angina starting at noon on Jan. 2. 

She sought help from a number of local hospitals before arriving at the Gaoxin International Medical Center at 2 p.m. However, security guards there did not allow the two to enter as the hospital was located in a “medium-risk” area.

Later on, she contacted Hospital 521 and the Third People’s Hospital in Xi’an in hopes of seeing a doctor. Hospital 521 replied that they were only accepting patients with fever symptoms. The Third People’s Hospital explicitly denied admitting her father. 

In the following hours, the daughter contacted and searched for many more hospitals in the area, but none of them would see them. Finally, after being in pain for eight hours, the man was accepted to the High Tech International Medical Center for surgery at 10:00 pm.

After being finally admitted, the doctor there said they had waited too long to seek medical attention and there was nothing that could be done. The doctor said if he had received medicine for his condition within 2 hours, he would have survived. Eventually, the father passed away in the early hours of Jan. 3.

Daughter’s post

“Sunflower00000” said in her post, “my father had a sudden attack of angina after lunch on January 2, and many hospitals did not accept him. At that time, I called 120 (the 911 equivalent of China) and was never able to get through.”

“Later on, when I finally got through to someone, we were told that it would take time for an ambulance to be arranged and not given an answer as to how long of a wait it would be. I also called 110, but was told they did not handle these issues.”

“I called many relevant vaccination phone numbers, but the lines were all busy. We had to go to Gaoxin International Medical Center, which is the closest to our home and still accepting patients. But the security guards at the entrance kept refusing to let us in. One of the guards said that the hospital is located in a middle-risk area and we were therefore not allowed in. I had no choice but to go on the street and flag down a police car, but the officers said they did not take care of such matters.”

Refused entry by two hospitals

“In the hours that followed, we contacted many hospitals and drove around on our own to find more. Crucial time was being wasted. After calling many helplines, I was finally given the number for the High-Tech Hospital from another netizen.”

Eventually, High-Tech International Medical Center admitted her father. 

“I waited outside the hospital. After 20 minutes, the doctor called and said that the delay was too long and if the medicine for thrombolysis was administered within two hours of symptoms appearing, my father could have been saved. But now it is too late. Basically, there is no hope,” she wrote.

The man’s daughter wondered if she had made a scene by crying and shouting outside the hospitals if anyone would have helped her father sooner. 

“The uncertainty of whether more could have been done to save my dad is enough to make me blame myself for the rest of my life.” 

Public anger triggered

The Xi’an daughter’s grief and anger triggered broad criticism among netizens across the country, with one user writing: “No humanity, where did the doctor’s kindness go? Was it thrown down the drain?”

“It’s really outrageous, it hurts my heart upon reading the post,” another said. 

The government in China has full control over the country’s tightly censored Internet and its censors delete any negative news that may paint authorities in a negative light.

“Various events happening in Xi’an keep lowering my hope in humanity. The government cannot prevent epidemics, but they are No. 1 in making negative news disappear.” 

Some also commented that the only recognized deaths in China today are those caused by COVID. “Is it that the only recognized cause of death are those caused by coronavirus? Are all the other types of deaths not considered death?” another user wrote. 

“I hope Kan Kan News can retain this post. Phoenix website has already deleted it from its site,” one user mentioned.