China launched a graft probe into former provincial leader with a track record of reforming a health-care sector that’s now the subject of a sweeping cleanup campaign.
(Bloomberg) — China launched a graft probe into former provincial leader with a track record of reforming a health-care sector that’s now the subject of a sweeping cleanup campaign.
The ruling Communist party’s graft watchdog said in a statement Monday evening that it is investigating Sun Zhigang, former Communist Party chief of Guizhou province in the southwest.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Sun was suspected of violating the law and party discipline, but didn’t get into specifics of the case.
Sun, 69, caught the attention of top officials in Beijing around 2009-2010, when serving in Anhui. A team of inspectors sent by the State Council, China’s cabinet, said the eastern province was “opening a new path for nationwide health-care reforms” and called for other parts of the nation to learn from it.
See: China’s Sweeping Health Graft Campaign Goes Beyond Hospitals
Sun later led the cabinet’s health-care reform office, and in 2013, he rose to vice chief at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the predecessor of the National Health Commission.
China launched a sweeping campaign to clean up corruption in the health care sector in July this year, though there’s no indication that is why Sun is in trouble. That probe has already snared more than 100 hospital chiefs and officials, dented the stock prices of companies in the industry and forced at least two pharmaceutical companies to shelve listing plans.
An unidentified official from the National Health Commission has told the official Xinhua News Agency that in addition to punishing officials for abuse of power and corruption, the campaign targets illegal sales activities by drug and medical device makers, doctors taking bribes and misuse of the state medical insurance fund that covers over 95% of Chinese people.
Sun led Guizhou from 2017 to 2020, getting credit from state media for helping lift the province out of poverty.
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