Domestic News

Law adopted to protect medical workers



China's top legislature voted Saturday to adopt a law on the promotion of basic medical and health care in Beijing. It is the country’s first fundamental and comprehensive law on basic medical and health care.

Lawmakers approved the law at the end of a six-day bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The law will take effect June 1, 2020.

The law bans any organization or individual from threatening or harming the personal safety or dignity of medical workers, stipulating that their personal safety and dignity shall not be infringed on and that their legitimate rights and interests are protected by law.

A recent incident at the Civil Aviation General Hospital in Beijing gathered public attention and generated several discussions on social media platforms.

Yang Wen, who was working in the emergency department at Civil Aviation General Hospital, was stabbed by a 55-year-old man at 6 a.m. Dec. 24, 2019, due to his dissatisfaction with the emergency treatment given to his 95-year-old mother by Yang.

On Tuesday, Chaoyang District Public Security Bureau released a statement on its official Weibo which said a man surnamed Sun Wenbin, 55, stabbed the doctor Yang Wen at the Civil Aviation General Hospital around at 5:55 a.m. Dec. 24, 2019. The man was detained on the spot and remains under arrest for further investigation.

On early Wednesday at 2 a.m., the hospital said in a statement on Weibo that Yang sustained serious wounds to her neck and all the necessary steps to save her life were being taken. The Beijing Municipal Health Commission organized a team of medical experts from several top Beijing hospitals, such as Peking Union Medical College Hospital and China-Japan Friendship Hospital, to assist in those efforts, but she died Wednesday morning.

On the same morning, the Chinese Medical Doctor Association released a statement saying: “We are beyond fury and strongly condemn the atrocity and we hope a safety net is being built so incidents of violence against doctors and nurses will not happen again.” The association said it hopes society will work together to ensure medical staff is not harmed while practicing medicine.

According to media reports, the relationship between doctors and their patients in China has been smeared by growing tensions, and medical disputes and incidents seem to be increasing.

On July 12, 2018, at a Tianjin Hospital, Li Yanjun, a 47-year-old doctor, was killed by three criminals. In October the same year, a video showed that a doctor working at Peking University First Hospital was beaten by a patient’s relative. The video quickly spread through the Internet. On Feb. 18, 2014, at Yi County Hospital of Hebei Province, Li, a general surgeon, was consulting a patient when his throat was slashed suddenly by a former patient.

In 2018, there were at least 12 medical incidents involving violence and the deaths of two medical workers.?