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Graft, Violence In China Hospitals

From the China Compliance Digest (Issue No. 14: May 7, 2012):

Media observers say dissatisfaction with rampant corruption in China's public health system is at least partly responsible for a recent increase in violent incidents at state-owned hospitals.

According to Ministry of Health statistics, more than 17,000 such incidents were reported in 2010, an increase of more than 7,000 over the amount on record for 2005.

Last week, an online People's Daily poll was taken down after thousands of respondents selected a grinning emoticon marked "happy" to characterize their reaction to the recent murder of 28-year-old intern doctor Wang Hao.

Wang was stabbed by a disgruntled patient at Harbin Medical University (Heilongjiang Province), Wang's place of employment. Three other doctors were injured in the attack.

Saddled with low salaries and underfunded health care facilities, China's doctors have been known to accept bribes from patients seeking speedier treatment, as well as kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies peddling overpriced drugs.

China lacks a consistently effective system for arbitrating medical malpractice cases. Victims often have little legal recourse other than petitioning for the intervention of Beijing high officials.

Sources: China Central Television (中央电视台), The Economic Observer (经济观察报), Bloomberg


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