Doctor/Patient Conflicts
Become More Common

A Beijing resident who assaulted a doctor and caused disorder at Beijing Union Medical College Hospital was detained by police yesterday.

The suspect, Gao Shang, and his relatives caused a disturbance in the hospital on July 25 after his father died during an operation. The dead man had suffered from a failure of the pituitary gland. The son attacked a doctor who had no part in the operation after the doctor tried to persuade him not to make noise in the hospital.

This is just one of many cases involving doctors physically attacked and sometimes even killed by their patients or patients' family members.

Official statistics show that more than 500 such cases were reported in Beijing in the past three years, with 90 doctors injured or disabled.

Also last month, a senior doctor with a hospital in Central China's Hunan Province was stabbed to death by his patient who was not satisfied with the result of his treatment.

The deteriorating relations between doctors and patients has damaged the interests of both sides and "should be improved through reforms of the current medical system," an official with the Ministry of Health said.

Patients and medical workers should understand and support each other better. That is the effective way to avoid conflicts and have problems settled reasonably, said Wu Mingjiang, director of the Health Administration Department of the Ministry of Health.

Medical disputes are often triggered by dissatisfaction over the quality of medical services provided by hospitals, such as poor attitudes, the skill of the doctors and the high cost of medicines and medical service.

Health authorities hope the situation will be improved through medical reforms.

(China Daily 08/08/2001)

In This Series

Vice Premier Calls for Better Medical Services



Web Link