Gov­ern­ment wants doc­tors and med­i­cal work­ers to be pro­tected

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­

Se­cu­rity guards at large Chi­nese hos­pi­tals are now re­quired to es­cort po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous pa­tients dur­ing med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tions, ac­cord­ing to new mea­sures aimed at pre­vent­ing at­tacks on health pro­fes­sion­als.

Pa­tients who are in­tox­i­cated, have a men­tal ill­ness or “act ab­nor­mally” should be ac­com­pa­nied when with doc­tors and nurses, ac­cord­ing to a no­tice is­sued by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment on Tues­day.

The new rules, drawn up by the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion and the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity, also state that hos­pi­tals should have emer­gency re­sponse teams and be equipped with an ad­e­quate sur­veil­lance net­work.

“Strong and timely con­trol mea­sures should be taken in re­sponse to se­cu­rity in­ci­dents to en­sure safety,” the doc­u­ment said.

China ranks hos­pi­tals in three cat­e­gories, with small or grass­roots clin­ics at Grade I. The new rules are aimed only at Grade II and Grade III fa­cil­i­ties, which are mostly in cities, to raise aware­ness for staff safety.

Vi­o­lence against med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als reg­u­larly makes head­lines in China, in­clud­ing a case in Fe­bru­ary in which a top liver trans­plant sur­geon in Jiangsu prov­ince was stabbed in the leg.

Deng Liqiang, di­rec­tor of le­gal af­fairs for the Chi­nese Med­i­cal Doc­tor As­so­ci­a­tion, said at­tack­ers range from dis­grun­tled pa­tients and rel­a­tives to scalpers who sell hospi­tal ap­point­ments.

“The doc­u­ment pro­vides tar­geted in­ter­ven­tion, like deal­ing with drunk pa­tients, as vi­o­lent cases in­volv­ing drunk at­tack­ers against health­care work­ers are not rare,” he said, adding that the new mea­sures high­light preven­tion, not just re­sponse.

One such ex­am­ple is the re­quire­ment that vis­i­tors to hos­pi­tal­ized pa­tients must now show a valid ID to en­ter.

The doc­u­ment pro­vides tar­geted in­ter­ven­tion, like deal­ing with drunk pa­tients.”

Deng Liqiang, di­rec­tor of le­gal af­fairs for the Chi­nese Med­i­cal Doc­tor As­so­ci­a­tion

Se­nior se­cu­rity of­fi­cials at two ma­jor Bei­jing hos­pi­tals de­clined to com­ment on the doc­u­ment or how the new rules will af­fect their fa­cil­i­ties when con­tacted by China Daily on Wed­nes­day.

How­ever, Yu Zhen­qiu, di­rec­tor of the hy­per­ten­sion depart­ment at Anzhen Hospi­tal in Bei­jing, wel­comed the new ini­tia­tive and said he looked for­ward to more poli­cies to im­prove strained doc­tor-pa­tient re­la­tion­ships.

“That helps avert and sub­stan­tially de­crease vi­o­lence against health­care work­ers, which in the end hurts pa­tients as well,” he said.

Yu said cur­rent mea­sures, like a tiered med­i­cal de­liv­ery sys­tem and a blan­ket halt to drug price markup, would help op­ti­mize med­i­cal re­sources, im­prove pa­tients’ ac­cess to proper care and im­prove their sat­is­fac­tion.

A 2015 sur­vey by the doc­tor as­so­ci­a­tion found 70 per­cent of doc­tors in China have suf­fered ver­bal abuse or phys­i­cal vi­o­lence at hos­pi­tals.

The doc­u­ment also in­structs pub­lic se­cu­rity de­part­ments, if pos­si­ble, to closely work with par­tic­u­larly large hos­pi­tals and send po­lice staff pa­trolling or be­ing sta­tioned at hos­pi­tals.

In ad­di­tion, hos­pi­tals were told to set up chan­nels for pa­tients to file com­plaints and vent their anger against some doc­tors or med­i­cal pro­ce­dures that were not sat­is­fac­tory.

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