A local government worker has been detained by police in eastern China for attacking a doctor.
The doctor, head of the paediatrics department in Wencheng county in Zhejiang province, needed hospital treatment for injuries to his face and hands after the incident, in which the man also smashed the hospital’s computers.
He was confirmed to be suffering from a form of bipolar disorder, but police decided he was fit to be held criminally liable for his actions and gave him 15 day’s administrative detention and fined him 300 yuan (US$43).
Police in Wencheng county in Zhejiang province said the 49-year-old, surnamed Zhu, had taken his daughter to hospital on Monday where she was diagnosed with enteritis and prescribed medication.
Zhu returned later that night asking for his daughter to be given an intravenous infusion, but was told he had to return the following morning because she needed to be given an allergy test that could not be performed at night.
Zhu left with his daughter, but became convinced he had not been told exactly how serious his daughter’s illness was and returned to the children’s ward.
Surveillance cameras show that he started smashing computers, attacked the doctor and had to be restrained by a nurse when he tried to hit him with a chair.
A member of staff of Wencheng County Children’s Hospital told The Beijing News that the doctor, the head of the paediatrics department, had needed hospital treatment for injuries to his face and hands and had suffered hearing loss.
The newspaper reported that an unnamed member of staff at the hospital had confirmed that the man worked for the local housing and urban development bureau and had been diagnosed as suffering from schizomania.
Under Chinese law, mental health patients need to be assessed to decide whether they can be held criminally responsible.
In Zhu’s case police decided he was “capable of taking punishment”, which means he was still able to determine the impact of his actions.
Violence against medical staff is a persistent problem in China as patients take out their frustrations caused by a lack of resources and overstrained system on the doctors and nurses.
A study by the University of Macau in 2017 found that in the previous year, 62.4 per cent of medical staff had been abused or assaulted by patients.
More than 61.2 per cent said they had been verbally abused, while 13.7 per cent had been physically assaulted.
A report by the Chinese Medical Doctors Association last year said crimes against medical staff in hospitals had dropped 15.4 per cent after the authorities’ crackdown, but still 66 per cent of doctors reported that they had been abused by patients, mostly verbally.
This article Chinese government worker detained for attack that left doctor needing hospital treatment first appeared on South China Morning Post