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Doctor injects cancer cells in insurance scam

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan -- Investigators recently cracked a health insurance scam involving a doctor injecting cancerous cells into patients with their knowledge, local media reported yesterday.

The defrauders altogether swindled over NT$20 million in payouts from insurance firms, noted the media.

Hsu Shi-zheng, a former attending physician with the obstetrics and gynecology department at the Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, and his partner in crime, Lee Mao-chang, would seek out women with relatively poor uterine health and have them sign up for critical illness insurance policies with multiple insurers, the media said.

According to reports, Hsu would then extract cancerous cells from another patient with malignant cell growth and inject the healthy women with cancerous cells during “procedures.”

Investigators were tipped when an insurer found inconsistencies in the records of one of the women, surnamed Lin. She reported a thin income, yet paid premiums in sums of several thousands of dollars from an account that was under Lee's name, said reports.

Officers eventually sent the ovarian tissue sample with which Lin's “cancer” was diagnosed to Mackay Memorial Hospital, where it was later revealed via a DNA test that the malignant growth did not match her own cells.

Hsu was apprehended when authorities issued a search warrant late June.

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