Chinese Family Agrees to Leave Hospital Ward After Squatting There for Six Years

A Chinese man and his parents have agreed to move out of a Beijing hospital after living there continuously for six years, because of a financial dispute with the medical institution.

No one really likes spending more time than they have to in hospitals, which is why most people can’t wait to get discharged. But that’s not always the case. In 2014, a man surnamed Tian was admitted to a top Beijing hospital with symptoms that included nausea, vomiting and unsteady gait. He was supposed to spend a few days there after a medical procedure, but following a dispute regarding his medical bill, he ended up living there for six years, along with his parents. This weird saga finally came to an end last week, when the hospital squatters finally agreed to move out.

In 2014, Tian showed up at the hospital complaining of having experienced nausea and vomiting for two months, and of being on shaky legs for nine days. His parents accompanied him and stayed with him for the entire period that he received treatment for his health problems. But when the time came for him to be discharged, Tian learned that he had to pay for his stay, so he accused the hospital of administering him an inappropriate treatment and refused to leave.

Tian and his parents turned his hospital room into their own home, bringing in pots and pans and filling the place with groceries and other personal belongings. Despite several attempts from the hospital to get them to leave, the three stayed put, even spending the Lunar New Year, a holiday traditionally associated with families gathering at their homes, in the hospital.

The hospital took the family to court on several occasions, and in 2019 even waived demands for 1.26 million yuan ($195,000) in medical costs just to get them to leave. They provided proof that Tian didn’t need any medical attention and could be discharged, arguing that he was occupying hospital resources that could be used to treat real patients. However, last year Tian countersued the hospital alleging medical negligence, and the saga continued.

Last week, Judge Luo Shengli of the Beijing Xicheng District People’s Court ruled that Tian and his parents were to finally leave the hospital ward they had been squatting in for the past six years, but also that they were entitled to compensation from the hospital.

The family accepted the 480,000 yuan ($73,000) and agreed to finally move out of the ward. They were transported home in a hospital ambulance.

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