Beijing: About six lakh doctors in China have signed an online petition against the increasing attacks by angry patients and their relatives, calling for an end to the frustrating violence and abuse against the medical staff.
The campaign was launched after a physician was injured by her patient in south China's Guangdong Province on Wednesday.
The police in Huizhou City, Guangdong, said yesterday that the suspect surnamed Liao has confessed to the attack on the doctor, Ou Lizhi, from Longmen County People's Hospital.
According to police, Liao went to Longmen hospital to look for Dr Ou, who has been his doctor, on Wednesday to inquire about his headaches.
But Ou asked him to go to the outpatient department as she was not on duty, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.
At this, Liao got agitated and attacked her with a knife, injuring her on right hand and left arm.
Liao said he harboured hatred for the doctor because he believed the medicine she prescribed was responsible for his chronic headaches.
Attacks on healthcare staff have led to a public outrage, especially in the medical sector. As of yesterday, more than 600,000 doctors signed to join the social-media campaign.
The Guangdong Provincial Commission of Health and Family Planning in a notice has asked hospitals to cooperate with area public security departments to set up police stations at hospitals or have police regularly patrol nearby to reduce their response time during a violent attack.
It also asked hospitals to put up surveillance cameras and install police alarm.
Tian Wuhan, director of the Guangdong Medical Association, said frequent hospital violence have not only inflicted physical injuries and psychological trauma on medical staff, but also damaged the patient-doctor relationship.
In June, 12 cases of violent attacks on medical staff were reported in hospitals nationwide.
In a poll published in May by the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, some 13 per cent of 12,600 doctors said they have been physically assaulted by their patients last year, and nearly 60 per cent have been verbally abused.
Doctors said they felt they were not respected and they were unprotected at their workplaces.