Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong wants improvement in doctor-patient relations to prevent conflicts, as a pregnant nurse was victim of the latest hospital fracas.
Nurse Wang was beaten and kicked in the face and body by a mother and her daughter at a hospital in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province, after Wang responded to their registration request with "please wait a second."
When the nurse begged them to stop and said she was pregnant, the duo allegedly kicked even harder in her stomach.
The ruckus occurred on Thursday afternoon, the final of three days of healthcare inspections by Liu Yandong in Zhejiang's neighboring province of Fujian.
Initial examinations found bruising in Wang's lower body. Radioactive tests were not conducted due to Wang's pregnancy, but doctors are concerned by the possibility of cerebral injuries and miscarriage.
Wang Yuqing of a local police office said the case is under investigation and the perpetrators will be held criminally responsible if the nurse does suffer from miscarriage.
"Healthcare-related crimes should be severely dealt with. The interests of medical staff should be protected. Harmonious relations between doctors and patients should be the norm," Liu said.
High medical costs, uneven distribution of resources, overloaded public hospitals and lack of communication have fueled doctor-patient conflict in China.
On Oct. 25 last year, one doctor was killed and two others injured by a dissatisfied patient at a hospital in Zhejiang.
During the inspection in Fujian, Liu stressed that the ongoing medical reform is a major project that aims to bring concrete benefits to the people, stimulate medical staff and ensure sustainable financial support.
She said medical workers should follow professional ethics and provide high-quality services, while hospitals should map out fair evaluation and salary systems.
She also called for fair development and mutual benefits in the balance between public and private hospitals, while calling for policies to encourage private investment in the medical sector.
Liu urged curbs on the inflated prices of medicine, calling for various measures to ensure quality medical resources in remote, impoverished areas.