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Panelists seek ways to ease medical tensions

2014-03-12 10:46:07Source:China DailyAuthor:

Experts call for efforts to protect medical personnel's rights and improve doctor-patient relations. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Regulation and social consensus are needed to better protect the safety of medical personnel and to improve doctor-patient relations, say legislators and political advisers.

On March 8, the Chinese Medical Doctor Association and its affiliated newspaper MD Weekly held a forum for two sessions members to discuss hot topics in the health community, which has been held annually since 2009.

More than 20 deputies of China's National People's Congress and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference attended the forum.

The most discussed issues included how to reduce attacks on doctors and nurses and help medical professionals work with dignity, how to improve doctor-patient relations and strengthen the self-discipline among doctors and nurses, and how to amend related laws and regulations. The law on occupational physicians is to be amended this year.

In recent years, doctors and nurses sometimes became targets of violence in hospitals, either by patients or their family members. Some victims died from such attacks.

In headlines about two weeks ago, a couple was accused of beating a nurse in East China's Jiangsu province and causing her to be paralyzed, while a doctor in Chao-zhou, Guangdong province, was badly humiliated in public by a patient's family, after the patient died of alcohol intoxication in early March.

"Doctors need a safe, quiet and dignified work environment to ensure the process of treating patients and saving lives will not be disturbed," says Ling Feng, a CPPCC member and famous neurosurgeon with Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing.

"When attacks against doctors and nurses happened, lots of people showed empathy toward the victims and scolded the attackers. But that is not enough. There must be effective legislation for public security authorities to follow, so that such violence will be punished, and medical personnel will be protected..

Yang Yunyan, director of Hubei province's health and family-planning commission, says the public should be more rational about the risks of medical procedures, while medical staff should also be more self-disciplined to establish a good image among the public.

But irrational violence against medical personnel should always be condemned, Yang says.

Some two sessions members say they believe the medical system is to be blamed for currently worsening doctor-patient relations, and medical personnel should play a more active role in medical reform.

Participants at the conference also discussed the establishment of a Doctor's Day to improve the public's respect for doctors.