This hospital has over 2,300 beds and 420 staff with associate senior titles or above, including 250 doctoral and master’s advisors and over 90 adjunct professors at Shandong University.227 It was approved by the Ministry of Health to conduct heart, liver, and kidney transplants. It has also carried out heart-kidney, liver-kidney, heart-lung, corneal, and other types of transplants. Its transplant capabilities have reached an advanced level nationally.
The hospital performed its first kidney transplant in 1991. Its second urologic surgery department is a key clinical transplant discipline in the province, a provincial solid organ transplant science and technology innovation unit, and a provincial key organ transplant and kidney disease laboratory. It is also a national training base for clinical transplant pharmacists and transplant doctors as designated by the National Health and Family Planning Commission. The department maintains active academic exchanges and has hosted multiple international, national, and provincial academic conferences. In recent years, uremia patients from across China have received kidney transplants here.228
The department has 8 active surgeons and one re-employed expert after retirement, including 3 chief surgeons/ professors, 2 associate chief surgeons/associate professors, 2 attending surgeons, and 2 residents. It also has more than 10 surgeons who are currently pursuing master’s and PhD degrees. The active surgeons include 5 with PhDs and 3 with master’s degrees. The academic department has one PhD advisor and 2 master’s advisors. The department currently has 34 nurses, including 6 charge nurses, 2 nurses with graduate degrees, and 21 with bachelor’s degrees.
The director of the organ transplant center Men Tongyi is a PhD advisor at Shandong University, a national member of the Kidney Transplant Group of Chinese Medical Association Urologic Surgery ProfessionalCommittee, chairman of the Shandong
Medical Association Organ Transplantation Professional Committee, chief of the Shandong Solid Organ Transplantation Science and Technology Innovation Alliance, director of the Shandong Organ Transplantation and Kidney Disease Laboratory, and director of an international kidney transplantation association. He studied at Harvard University’s Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Tokyo Women’s Medical University, and Seoul National University.229
The department’s website does not list its bed count. It claims that, since it performed its first kidney transplant in 1991, it has carried out a total of more than 1,500 to date.
This figure is equivalent to around 100 per year, yet the hospital leads the province and is at an advanced level nationally. This scale can be achieved by one lead surgeon and would not require more than 10 beds.
Its hepatobiliary surgery department claims that its surgical volume and success rate have consistently led the province. Its liver transplant capabilities have reached an advanced level in the country.230
Since the hospital led the province in performing a liver transplant in 2000, it has accomplished the following provincial “firsts:” 231
- modified piggyback orthotopic liver transplant
- reduced-size liver transplant
- non-bypass orthotopic liver transplant
- second liver transplant (for the same patient)
- liver transplant without blood transfusion
- living-donor liver transplant
The department’s website does not list bed or personnelcount, yet claims that it had completed 115 liver transplants (including one relative-donor case) as of June 2009. This scale of 12 liver transplants per year, on average, does not match its claim of “consistently leading the province” or the abovementioned clinical breakthroughs. The website’s transplant data have not been updated in 7 years.
The hospital collaborated with Tianjin Oriental Organ Transplant Institute early on to establish the “Shandong Liver Transplant Center of the Oriental Organ Transplant Institute.” Shen Zhongyang was appointed to be in charge of the Center’s overall planning and guidance. Shen regularly comes to do rounds and surgeries and give lectures. The facility has become the largest liver transplant center in the province and is advanced in the nation.232
Zang Yunjin of the Tianjin Oriental Organ Transplant Center was dispatched to help establish this hospital’s liver transplant department and the Shandong Liver Transplant Center of Oriental Organ Transplant Institute. He studied liver transplantation as a visiting scholar under Professor John J. Fung at the University of Pittsburgh (UPMC) Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute between September 1999 and December 2000.233
Doctors from the hospital were unable to explain the source of their donor organs. Below is an excerpt from a transcript of an investigative phone call made to the hospital:234
Investigator: Do you have disease-free kidneys from Falun Gong practitioners?
Doctor: Hmm…Anyway, in April there will certainly be more of such donors…
Investigator: Why will there be more in April?
Doctor: I can’t tell you that, because this involves…No need to explain these things to you. This issue cannot be explained…
On April 14, 2006, an individual identifying himself as a healthcare worker who worked in this hospital for more than 20 years wrote to the Falun Gong website Minghui.org, “the Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital and the Police General Hospital of Shandong Province colluded with the prisons and forced labor camps in a large-scale operation to conduct live organ harvesting for transplants. The bodies of Falun Gong practitioners were used for hospitals’ interns to conduct experiments. The hospital obtained directives from the Central and was fully involved.”235
“This hospital cooperated with Oriental Organ Transplant Center to establish the Shandong Liver Transplant Institute. It boasted the largest transplant volume and the most advanced technology in liver transplantation in the province. The center also performed kidney, testicular, lung, and corneal transplants.”
A full-page report by the Jinan Times on March 12, 2015 covered transplantation at this hospital:
Attending physician Liu Tianqi described, “After starting heart transplants in 2003, we established the ‘Shandong Heart Transplant Center’ in November 2011. So far, we’ve completed 58 heart-lung and heart-kidney transplants, as well as 55 heart-only transplants. In the past two years, we’ve completed 28 heart transplants. We were ranked 6th nationwide for two consecutive years.”
The director of the first hepatobiliary surgery department, Teng Mujian, stated that, since the hospital performed the first liver transplant in the province in 2002, it has completed more than 300 to date.
Men Tonyi, director of the second urologic surgery department, said that it has completed more than 1,500 kidney transplants since 1991. It performed 103 kidney transplants in 2014.
Wang Xu, chief physician of its ophthalmology department, stated that the department performs an average of 30 corneal transplants per year.
Since the live organ harvesting crimes were exposed in 2006, the hospital has deleted almost all of its transplant volume and related information online. The numbers given to media by its doctors have also been sharply deflated.