A female doctor at a well-known hospital in Beijing was stabbed by an unidentified knife-wielding man Friday, the second such incident in the country in a month.
This latest case happened at about 10:25 a.m. at the Peking University People's Hospital, when doctor Xing Zhimin with the Otolaryngological Department who was receiving a patient was attacked unexpectedly by a masked man, a spokesman with the hospital said.
Xing was wounded and she was being treated at the hospital, the spokesman said.
The assailant had fled. Police are looking into the incident, he added.
No further details were provided.
Later on Friday, the Ministry of Health issued a statement on its official website urging local authorities to take concrete measures to ensure the order and security of medical institutes.
"Medical institutions are where members of the public go to seek treatment for distressing illnesses. Violent crimes that occur in these places must be strongly condemned. The hospitals should be able to continue treating people as usual, and the safety of medical staff and patients must be ensured," said the statement.
Vowing to keep track of Friday's incident, the ministry urged the hospital to spare no efforts in saving Xing while cooperating with police departments investigating the case.
This is the second such attack on doctors in China in less than a month.
On March 23, a 17-year-old patient Li Mengnan barged into an office at the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University in the northeastern city of Harbin, and stabbed medical practitioners in the head and neck before trying to take his own life with the knife. One critically wounded medical intern later died. Three other hospital staff suffered injuries.
Li was reported to have done so because he was not given immediate treatment when seeking medical help.
Prior to Friday's comments, the ministry issued a circular in February with a plan to set up a security network that will allow for rapid police response to conflicts in hospitals, in the hope to prevent fights occurring between doctors and patients, and to prevent disrupting the already-overloaded hospitals.
It is estimated that Chinese patients will make an unprecedented six billion hospital visits this year, rousing concerns about hospitals' patient capacity and efficiency.