Most medics are victims of abuse

By Shan Juan (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-02-26 07:32

Sixty percent of the 4,353 medical staff polled in a recent survey said they have witnessed their colleagues being abused by patients and their relatives on a regular basis.

The survey, conducted by medical portal and newspaper China Youth Daily and released on Monday, polled a range of medical and administrative professionals at hospitals.

Respondents said they had witnessed verbal and physical abuse directed at their colleagues, the survey showed.

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More than half of those polled said they had thought about leaving their jobs because of such treatment. Most of the respondents were also against their children becoming doctors.

Only a small minority of those surveyed, about 8 percent, said they have not thought about a change.

The problems plaguing the country's medical system have intensified with more medical disputes between medical staff and patients occurring, Tan Xiaodong, professor with the School of Public Health, Wuhan University, said.

Hospitals poorly subsidized by the government have to resort to making money from medical services to increase staff salaries, Wang said, with patients becoming the victims under such financially motivated operations.

Despite more than half of those polled saying their work brought them more trouble than joy, the survey found that treating diseases and gaining patients' trust was still the second most treasured form of happiness experienced by respondents, after good health and family.

Some 2,655 of those surveyed said they felt most satisfied and delighted by pay rises, while 45 percent said they experienced enhanced social respect and status from their jobs.

At the same time, 63 percent of those polled said they were overworked and faced deteriorating mental and physical health.

Still, many did not go for regular medical examinations, the poll showed. About 75 percent of the respondents have also not considered mental therapy.

Currently, 3 million medical workers have to take care of the health of 1.3 billion people in the country, official figures showed.

"Limited resources have also made high quality service a huge challenge even as patient-doctor ties keep worsening," Mao Qun'an, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said.

The government is determined to change the situation through ongoing medical reforms, he said.

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