China launches new law to protect doctors

China launches new law to protect doctors
The new law aims to protect medical workers from violent incidents. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times, Beijing: China has introduced a new law which will protect medical workers against violence. It will be implemented from June 1 next year.

China’s state media reports, the law will protect the safety and dignity of medical workers and bans any individual or organization from threatening or harming them.

The law will allow administrative punishment such as detention or fine to those ‘disturbing the medical environment, or harming medical workers’ safety and dignity’. It will also punish people found illegally obtaining, using or disclosing people’s private healthcare information.

The announcement comes when perspective appears after a female doctor was stabbed to death at a Beijing hospital.

On December 24, Yang Wen was working at Beijing Civil Aviation General Hospital’s emergency ward when she was attacked by a patient’s relative.

The incident creates outrage among medical workers.

‘We are deeply aggrieved and enraged by this incident, particularly as the relevant law was being deliberated’, said Zhao Ning, an official at the National Health Commission.

This is not the first violent case in a Chinese hospital.

In 2018 alone, two medical workers died in such kind of violence, and at least 12 medical incidents involved violence.

In October this year, a female doctor was fatally stabbed by a cancer patient at a Lanzhou hospital.

Dingxiang Yuan, an online site for healthcare professionals, recently published a survey which found 85% of doctors had experienced violence in their workplace.

The article added: ‘Doctors are responsible for protecting society from diseases. Who protects doctors?’

Medical journal The Lancet claims there are many reasons why doctors in Chinese hospitals are under threat such as poor funding, negative media reports about medical staffs, large hospital bill for poor income people, unrealistic expectations.

In such situations, some hospitals have even resorted to teaching its medical staff self-defence.