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Violence guide divides health experts

11-07-2011 08:29 BJT

BEIJING - A guide for doctors about dealing with violent attacks from patients and their families has divided medical and social experts over whether a more integrated system should be established to protect the safety of medical workers.

The guide, drawn up and issued by, a major domestic pharmaceutical industry website, offers 31 suggestions on preventing and handling violence in hospitals. The guide follows a string of violent incidents in recent years.

The measures include "installing emergency call buttons under every doctor's desk, linked to the security office of the hospital" and "removing white uniforms and sneaking into the crowd to avoid injury".

"It is a sorrow for not only medical workers, but the whole society, that the doctor-patient relationship has become so awful," said Xia Xueluan, a sociology professor at Peking University.

Many medical workers agreed, saying that they could only avoid constant anxiety when safety systems in healthcare workplaces were reinforced and relevant laws and regulations were adjusted in their favor.

"Although we have a team of 10 people who work around the clock in our hospital to deal with doctor-patient conflicts, disputes and fights with doctors still occur frequently," said Sun Liying, head of the transplant medicine department at Tianjin First Center Hospital.

A study by the China Hospital Management Association found medical workers in 73 percent of hospitals on the mainland have been hit, imperiled or abused by patients and their families, and nearly 60 percent of hospitals have experienced mob violence because of unsatisfactory treatment results.

However, some experts said that stronger protection for doctors would only worsen friction with patients.

"We have laws to crack down on unreasonable behavior disturbing public order, including those in the hospitals But doctors often only blame patients for violent attacks without introspection," said Yi Shenghua, a Beijing-based lawyer with Ying Ke Law Firm.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: China Daily

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