Doctors and nurses
at a Chinese hospital have taken to wearing hard hats on their rounds after
coming under attack from relatives seeking compensation over a patient's death,
newspapers reported on Tuesday.
Staff at Shanxia hospital in the booming
southern city of Shenzhen had been pushed and shoved and spat at for days by the
relatives and hired protesters, the Beijing News said.
"There was no
other option," the newspaper quoted a nurse as saying. "To ensure our safety,
the hospital gave everyone a helmet."
The patient, who was injured in a
car accident, unexpectedly died when he was ready to go home after 17 days'
treatment, the newspaper said. The relatives demanded the hospital take
responsibility and called for compensation.
Disputes between patients
and hospitals are now common in China, where market reforms of the 1980s ended
cradle-to-grave welfare for the masses.
Doctors and nurses examine a patient
while wearing helmets at a hospital in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong
Province December 24, 2006. The crew of the hospital all wear helmets in case
that relatives of a patient who died in the hospital come and strike.