Staff at a hospital in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, have been suspended for allegedly selling medical products used by Singaporean Mandopop singer-songwriter JJ Lin (林俊傑 Lín Jùnjié) during his stay at the facility.
Per the Modern Express (in Chinese), 11 employees at Zhenjiang’s First People’s Hospital, including nurses, have been suspended from their jobs after an anonymous WeChat post went viral on the Chinese internet. The post showed a photo of a drip bag and syringe said to have been used by Lin, and offered the items for sale by online auction.
The photo was first shared in a group chat of Lin’s fans on WeChat on October 27, after the celebrity had checked into the local hospital due to a fever. The person who posted it did not reveal their identity but seemed to be a nurse, and wrote: “I’m offering the same doctor and the same medicine that Lin used, as well as his bloody needle. Leave a comment below if you are interested.” The post also includes a photo of a drip bag, which is attached to a label that has the singer’s last name on it.
In addition to the photo, the WeChat user shared a photo of a vacant hospital bed, claiming that it was the one Lin lay on, as well as a video of several hospital employees taking turns to roll around in the bed.
Later that day, the post started circulating outside WeChat, soon trending on social media platform Weibo under a hashtag meaning “JJ Lin’s drip bag and syringe are up for sale” (林俊杰的吊水枕头被出售 Lín Jùnjié de diào shuǐ zhěntou bèi chūshòu). As of this morning, the hashtag had amassed around 450 million views and over 37,000 comments on the platform.
Many people commented that this was a blatant violation of Lin’s medical privacy. “In theory, medical workers should treat celebrities just like other patients. However, these hospital employees let their fandom take precedence over their professional ethics,” a Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).
In response, the hospital released a statement on October 28, stating that 11 staff had been suspended after the alleged incident. While the hospital admitted that the photo was taken by its staff, it said the sale post was written by someone who took advantage of the original image. The hospital also stated that it had discovered no illegal behavior in its management of medical waste after a thorough check.
“We take this matter seriously,” the statement reads. “In the meantime, we will further enhance professional job training at the hospital to avoid similar incidents in the future.”