Weeping doctor paraded around hospital by angry mob after patient dies

Relatives blamed medic for death of Guangdong man who was admitted after drinking excessively

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 March, 2014, 5:07pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 9:48am

A doctor in Guangdong province has been confronted by an angry mob and paraded around a hospital after a man he treated had died the previous night, a mainland newspaper reported.

More than one hundred people including relatives of the dead man shouted and threatened the doctor at a hospital in Chaozhou, the Guangzhou Daily reported.

A 37-year-old man had been admitted to the hospital after drinking excessively, the city government said in a statement on its social media account. He died in the early hours of the morning and relatives said the treatment he received was inadequate, the Guangzhou Daily said.

Media on the mainland frequently report on patients assaulting medical staff.

A doctor in Heilongjiang province was beaten to death with an iron bar last month, allegedly by a patient who was unhappy with the treatment he received.

The Guangzhou Daily said the doctor in Chaozhou was paraded around the hospital by angry relatives for about half an hour on Wednesday.

Watch: A video shows the doctor surrounded outside the hospital

Photos and videos posted online show the young doctor surrounded and shouted at by a few dozen people.

The doctor cried as he was confronted in the hospital, with some in the crowd shouting, “This is the doctor who killed the patient”, the newspaper reported.

The police were called to restore order, the city government said.

Two people who took part in the confrontation turned themselves in to the authorities later that day, the government statement added.

DXY, a website for the medical community on the mainland, said on its social media account, citing sources at the hospital, that the hospital had at first agreed to give the patient’s relatives 100,000 yuan (HK$126,000), but the offer had been withdrawn following the media attention.

The hospital’s directors did not respond to calls about the incident.

A nurse in the department where the doctor worked denied any knowledge of the matter.

The health bureau in Chaozhou and the Guangdong provincial health department also could not be reached for comment.

In a separate case, a doctor in Hebei province was stabbed in the throat last month, allegedly by a patient dissatisfied with the outcome of an operation.

No tolerance for hospital attacks, health chief says

People who cause violence in hospitals will be seriously punished, the mainland's health chief said, a day after a doctor in Guangdong was publicly humiliated over a patient's death.

Li Bin, the minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said hospitals were places for saving lives and trouble-makers would be harshly dealt with.

"Violence against doctors is a serious crime and [perpetrators] will be severely punished according to the law," Li said.

On Wednesday, a doctor at Guangdong's Chaozhou Central Hospital was paraded through the hospital for half an hour by more than 100 friends and family members of a patient who died on Wednesday after being admitted for excessive drinking.

Relatives blamed the doctor for failing to properly treat the man, the government of Chaozhou said.

The doctor was crying as the relatives shouted: "This is the doctor who killed a patient," according to weibo messages posted by other doctors who said they witnessed the event.

Doctors and nurses, especially in the mainland's public hospitals, have become targets for patients frustrated with the health care system.

Queues to see doctors are long and consultations are kept short, which further adds to patients' resentment.

Hospitals provided 7.3 billion out-patient consultations last year, a 6 per cent rise over the previous year. They saw 191 million patient check-outs, a 7.3 per cent increase over the previous year. About 70,000 complaints were lodged.

Last week, a nurse at a Nanjing hospital was paralysed after being beaten by the mother of a patient. Due to space constraints, the nurse had placed a male patient in critical condition in the same ward as the woman's daughter.

A doctor in Heilongjiang province was beaten to death with an iron bar last month, allegedly by a patient who was unhappy with treatment he received.

Li said medical staff would strengthen their professional ethics, but people had to accept that doctors' abilities were not infinite. "The public must understand … medical science is limited and be reasonable about the limitations of science and technology," Li said. "Doctors are not gods and can not cure patients every time."

Li said medical liability insurance should be promoted to solve disputes. Independent reconciliation committees handled 53,000 medical disputes and 88 per cent of the cases were settled.