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China’s Doctors Continue to Experience Patient Violence

by Fred Fortin

I’ve written before on the growing concern over violence between patients and medical workers in China. Now Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reports on the results of a new survey of doctors co-sponsored by the China Youth Daily and Dingxiangyuan, a Chinese online medical forum. The press analysis of this study — some cautioned may be warranted here — includes some disturbing findings:

  • Some 60 percent of China’s doctors have personally experienced, or have seen their colleagues subjected to, on-the-job violence from patients or their families;
  • Of the 4,353 respondents, all of whom were medical practitioners aged between 25-45, 40 percent admitted to being under severe stress and “sometimes on the verge of a breakdown.” This was not because of career or financial concerns but because of suspicion and mistrust from patients and the public;
  • Some 63 percent of the respondents said that they felt their health had deteriorated and 54 percent had never exercised in the past six months due to long working hours; and
  • More than half of the respondents said that they had considered leaving medicine and about 36 percent said they were still considering the idea.

China’s health care system needs to bring some institutionalize response to the plight of its medical practitioners. This has to take the form of a more organized social and economic mediation effort that can absorb some of the enormous tension now burdening Chinese health care. Some officials recognize that there could be a positive future role for malpractice insurers and private health plans in helping to mitigate these types of disputes which frequency escalate into broader social instability. Let’s hope that the reported emerging health care reform measures begin to address this increasingly worrisome problem.


2 Comments »

[…] my entire post over at the World Health Care Blog Posted in China, Healthcare. Tags: China, doctors, […]

  Arthur Yip wrote @ March 2nd, 2008 at 11:28 am

Dingxiangyuan sets up survey for health workers tending to co-operated with official press. My evaluation for these qualities on epidemiology and statistics shows there are defects. So I think there more debates and tiny value of those inquiries can not help China publics realize doctors‘ living qulity.

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