Hospitals install security checks to stop violence against doctors

Business & Technology

Photo credit: SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

Nanning in Guangxi Province has become the first city in China to require local hospitals to install security checkpoints under new regulations issued last year — around the same time that a doctor in a Beijing emergency ward was reportedly stabbed to death by a patient’s son.

  • Violence against doctors and hospital staff by frustrated patients and their family members is so common it has spawned a Chinese slang word: yinao (医闹 yīnào), which roughly translates as “medical ruckus.”
  • On January 8, the Second People’s Hospital of Nanning became the first medical institution in the city to introduce security checkpoints under the new regulations. That day, the hospital had 38 security officers on duty who found several visitors carrying knives.
  • As many as 85 percent of doctors who responded to a recent survey (in Chinese) said that they had experienced violence in their workplace. Only 29 percent of them said that their employers had enhanced security policies afterward.
  • China’s new healthcare and health promotion law was passed last month. It takes effect in June this year, and specifically criminalizes threatening or endangering the safety of medical staff.