After patient's outburst, Shenzhen hospital promises to curb violence

Pledge comes after HK doctor speaks out over drunken man's destructive outburst

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 September, 2014, 4:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 September, 2014, 4:03am

A Shenzhen hospital managed by the University of Hong Kong pledged yesterday that it would look at improving how it handled violent patients.

This follows an incident last month in which a drunken man is said to have smashed a cash register in frustration over not being able to see a doctor.

The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital decided not to pursue the matter, prompting a Hong Kong doctor who works there to criticise it for tolerating violence.

Dr Au Kin-heng said in an open letter last week that even though the incident had not resulted in anyone being hurt, such violence should not be tolerated.

The incident took place on the night of August 24, when the man, whose case had been classified non-urgent, refused to wait to see a doctor in the accident and emergency department.

In videos circulating on the internet, the man is heard shouting repeatedly to have the head of the hospital bow to him and apologise.

Media reports said the man later smashed a cash register and the hospital called the police for help. Shenzhen police were quoted as saying that the man was not arrested as he had not hurt anyone and the hospital agreed not to pursue the matter.

The hospital's move was also questioned by an official from the Guangdong provincial health department.

"Why should this be forgiven on the mainland when there's zero tolerance [for violence] in Hong Kong?" Liao Xinbo wrote on his account on the microblogging service Weibo.

A spokesman for the hospital said in a brief statement that "the management has decided to form a working group and seek legal advice on the case".

The hospital, built and funded by Shenzhen, was opened two years ago.

It was aimed at reforming medical culture on the mainland by introducing Hong Kong standards.

But the university, which manages the hospital, recently got into a dispute with the Shenzhen government over who should cover the project's losses.

The university insisted it would be going on with the joint project even though it had already spent HK$200 million on clinical management and supervision.