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Hospitals voice support for police protection plan

By Cai Wenjun (Shanghai Daily)

15:53, May 07, 2012

SHANGHAI hospitals yesterday hailed the state health authority's plan to introduce police officers at major hospitals to ensure proper operations while also protecting both medical staff and patients.

However police officials said it would be difficult to implement due to a manpower shortage while health professionals questioned the impact of having police officers at hospitals.

The Ministry of Health issued an urgent notice on Friday, requiring local health bureaus to coordinate with the police to set up police offices at district or city-level hospitals.

The notice also said hospitals need to improve security and purchase equipment to ensure 24-hour monitoring of emergency departments, outpatient departments and wards.

It added that hospitals need to better train medical staff to improve doctor-patient communication and the ability to respond to emergencies.

The notice came after the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Security jointly issued a statement on April 30, which banned mourning halls inside hospitals and people from threatening or insulting medical staff.

The statement was issued in response to a series of incidents nationwide in which patients injured medical staff in the past few months.

In March, a 17-year-old patient stabbed four doctors, killing one of them and injuring the other three, in a hospital in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.

It led many medical workers to worry about their safety, with some even expressing disappointment about their career.

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