Medical workers protest against violence

By Chen Ximeng Source:Global Times Published: 2013-10-28 23:33:01

Some 300 medical workers gather on Monday in the courtyard of the No.1 People's Hospital of Wenling, Zhejiang Province, to request the local government better protect their safety. Photo: IC

Some 300 medical workers gather on Monday in the courtyard of the No.1 People's Hospital of Wenling, Zhejiang Province, to request the local government better protect their safety. Photo: IC

Hundreds of medical workers in Wenling, Zhejiang Province, took to the streets on Monday to mourn a doctor who was stabbed to death by a patient in an incident that also injured another two doctors. They also protested against the dangerous situation faced by doctors that has resulted in a series of violent attacks.

Wang Yunjie, a chief physician with the ear-nose-throat department of the No.1 People's Hospital of Wenling was stabbed to death during treatment by a 33-year-old patient on Friday. Wang's body was transferred to the city funeral on Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The No.1 People's Hospital of Wenling saw more than 300 medical workers protesting at the square of the hospital at 8 am, a doctor surnamed Xie, who was one of the protesters, was quoted as saying by The Beijing News on Monday.

They held banners and posters saying that violence should be rejected and the safety of medical workers should be guaranteed, Xie said.

Hundreds of armed policemen flocked to the scene to prevent the crowd from turning violent, but Xie said it was a peaceful protest.

"My colleagues and I came to the No.1 People's Hospital at around 4:30 pm," a nurse with a Wenling-based hospital who asked not to be identified told the Global Times on Monday, adding that she found it hard to cross the circle of police to approach the protesters in the square and had to return home, while many others remained.

Against a backdrop of increasing tension between medical workers and patients, the protest was asking the government to take stronger measures to protect doctors' safety.

"Some of my colleagues who did not work that day participated in the protest in the morning, and we went to the protest after work. We would not let the protest affect our normal work," the nurse said.

Wenling's Vice Mayor Zhang Yongbing went to talk with the protesting medical workers on Monday, according to Xinhua.

Zhang said that the city government can fully understand the appeals of the medical workers, and will severely punish the criminal in the case, to better protect the interests of doctors. 

Participants in the rally, organized via Weibo and text messages, were largely from the No.1 People's Hospital of Wenling and other hospitals in the city, as well as people from the neighboring city of Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, and some even from Jiangsu Province, the nurse said.

Unsatisfied with surgery by the hospital, Lian Enqing stabbed 46-year-old Wang several times as well as another two doctors, before he was stopped by a security guard at the hospital.

The other two doctors are in stable condition, according to staff at the hospital.

Lian, who had been treated in Shanghai for mental illness, has been detained by the local police and the case is under investigation, police said.

On Sunday, a nurse from a hospital in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, was held hostage by a man for around an hour, but was finally rescued by police, The Beijing News reported Monday. 

The protest against the violence amid a series of violent cases has drawn significant attention online, with many medical workers calling for zero tolerance toward violence.

A surgeon with a hospital in Wenling told the Global Times on Monday that he supported his peers to express their appeals in an orderly manner, though some patients are misunderstanding the situation.

"The government should issue detailed regulations to ensure the safety of medical workers when treating patients, such as the legalization of a 'zero tolerance' policy in combating the violence," he said.

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