Health

Second doctor attacked while at work

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 April, 2012, 12:00am

A doctor was seriously wounded by an unidentified man yesterday while she was treating a patient in her office at Peking University People's Hospital in Beijing - the second attack on a doctor at work on the mainland in the past three weeks.

The man, wearing a white surgical-type mask, broke into the office of Dr Xing Zhimin and stabbed her in the neck with a knife he had hidden in his bag before fleeing, one of her colleagues said on his Sina microblog.

The knife severed the jugular vein on the right side of her neck, and she lost about a litre of blood, according to the colleague, an anaesthetist who posted under the username Zhaodong000. She was transferred to the hospital's intensive care unit after emergency surgery.

Police were still searching for the assailant, the hospital said in a statement on its official microblog.

The colleague wrote that Xing was caught completely off guard in the attack by someone who appeared to be 'well-prepared' and 'full of anger at society and all the medical staff'.

The incident occurred three weeks after a young doctor, who had been admitted to a PhD programme in Hong Kong, was stabbed to death by an angry patient while working at a Harbin hospital in Heilongjiang province. The patient also injured three other doctors during the attack, which reportedly occurred because of a misunderstanding that the doctor had refused to treat the patient's disease.

Xing, 47, has been a rhinologist - treating disorders of the nose - since 1988, and is now a senior doctor, according to her resume on the hospital's website.

The attack again shocked mainland doctors and medical students, with many warning that there could be an even greater shortage of medical personnel in the future, amid such unsafe working environments.

Some internet users also blamed the media for angering people by running exaggerated reports about unethical medical practices, including taking bribes and being cold-hearted to patients.