A shocking video has shown the moment a Chinese doctor punched his 82-year-old patient in the face three times while performing surgery on her eyes.
According to Mail Online, the incident happened in 2019, but the footage went viral on Chinese social media this week, sparking outrage online.
Authorities at the hospital are now investigating the incident, while the surgeon has been suspended with the CEO of the hospital dismissed.
The hospital group said the surgeon punched the woman in the face because the patient wouldn’t stop moving during surgery.
The hospital’s parent group, Aier China, said the incident took place in its hospital in Guigang, a southwestern Chinese city, 300 miles west of Hong Kong.
It said the patient was an 82-year-old woman who ‘during the surgery, due to local anaesthesia […] had intolerance,’ the BBC reported.
The statement said she moved her head an eyeballs multiple times.
Because the patient only spoke a local dialect and did not appear to respond to the surgeon’s warnings, given in Mandarin, the doctor ‘treated the patient roughly in an emergency situation,’ the statement added.
The woman suffered bruises on her forehead due to the attack, authorities said.
Management at the Guigang hospital apologised for the incident and paid 500 yuan (around £55) in compensation to the patient, according to her son.
The man told local news outlets that his mother is now blind in her left eye, although it was not clear if this was due to the incident or for another reason.
Aier China said hospital staff failed to report the incident to its headquarters.
On Thursday, the parent company said it had dismissed the CEO of the facility and had suspended the surgeon, who is also the hospital dean.
This decision was taken due to ‘serious violations of the group’s regulations’, it said.
Prominent Chinese doctor, Ai Fen, shared CCTV footage of the surgery online, causing it to go viral on China’s closely-watched social media platform Weibo.
Dr Ai was among a group of doctors who first alerted the public to the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in the city of Wuhan, according to the BBC.