Hospital security to be enhanced amid doctor-patient tensions

Updated: 2012-02-24 23:41


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BEIJING - The Ministry of Health plans to set up a security network that will allow for rapid police response to conflicts in hospitals, hoping to prevent fights between doctors and patients from disrupting overloaded hospitals.

Doctor-patient relationships have become a major public concern in China following frequent reports of quarrels and even physical attacks.

In September last year, a doctor in a Bejing hospital was seriously injured by a patient wielding a knife. The attack was reportedly triggered by a medical dispute in which the patient alleged that the doctor failed to treat him correctly.

According to an outline released Friday, the ministry will improve an existing emergency mechanism to deal with treatment-related conflicts and enhance measures to ensure the safety of hospital employees.

"More effective measures should be made to solve these conflicts and prevent them from deteriorating...the results should be incorporated into hospital evaluations," said the document.

It is estimated that Chinese patients will make an unprecedented six billion hospital visits this year, rousing concerns about hospitals' patient capacity and efficiency.

The ministry also called for more education on professional ethics for hospital staff and encouraged the public to be vigilant about possible misconduct by doctors.