China: Around The Nation

Chinese doctors must have guard to see mentally ill, drunk patients: report

Aim is to protect medical staff after a spate of attacks on doctors and nurses in China, according to Chinese media report

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 3:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 3:07pm

China’s health authorities have introduced regulations stipulating that doctors must have a security guard present if seeing drunk or mentally ill patients deemed as potentially dangerous, according to a news website report.

The rule comes after a spate of attacks on medical staff working in the mainland’s hard-pressed public hospitals.

The regulations were issued by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, the public security ministry and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the China News Service reported.

The rules state that drunk people or patients with mental problems or abnormal behaviour should only be treated by doctors under the protection of security guards.

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Medical organisations and local public security departments have also been told to improve security measures to protect medical staff.

Specialised department should also be established in medical organisations to deal with complaints or disputes with patients under the new regulations.

Many of the attacks on doctors and nurses in recent years were by relatives of patients who were unhappy with the treatment they received, with huge pressure on China’s public health service.

Some internet users supported the regulations, saying there was an urgent need to protect medical staff.

“If there isn’t more protection, doctors and nurses will be endangered, ”one person commented on social media.

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Some, however, said the actions of some unscrupulous doctors were damaging the reputations of most medical staff.

“It would be hard to prevent cases of harm to doctors if they still deal with minor illness with too many medicines or unnecessary checks and receive under-the-table cash with the purpose of making a profit,” another person commented.