Hospital to boost security after string of attacks

Updated: 2014-02-24 08:24

By Zhang Yan (China Daily)

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Hospital to boost security after string of attacks

Security staff at Peking University People's Hospital monitor surveillance cameras, which will allow them to respond quickly to incidents such as disputes over medical care. FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

A leading hospital in Beijing plans to spend 10 million yuan ($1.67 million) to install an audio-video surveillance system in its monitoring command center and set up alarm buttons in the clinics to strengthen security following a series of attacks nationwide over medical disputes.

"After setting up the equipment in June, at first sign of illegal behavior, doctors will immediately press the button in the clinic to report the incident," said Zhao Yue, deputy president of Peking University People's Hospital.

When the alarm button is pressed, officials in the command center will be able to see the incident. Hospital guards will report to local police, and police stationed in the hospital will be notified, he said.

"Police will be at the scene in less than five minutes, and the surveillance video will be kept for at least 30 days to provide evidence for the police," Zhao said.

Currently, police take about 10 minutes to respond to an incident at the hospital, said Zhang Peng, deputy director of the hospital's security.

The added security measures come after recent attacks on medical workers across the country.

Last week, a person allegedly slashed the neck of a doctor after a dispute at a hospital in Yixian county, Hebei province.

In October, the Ministry of Public Security and the National Health and Family Planning Commission issued a notice calling for hospitals to improve security, including setting up offices for police at hospitals at county-level or above.

The police office at Peking University People's Hospital is manned by two officers day and night. They train the hospital's 109 security guards.

Since June, police at the hospital have handled more than 30 medical-related crimes and 50 relevant disputes.

"We are making efforts to save the patients, but we get quarrels, fights and cursing from patients almost all the time," said Zhu Jihong, director of the hospital's emergency call center.

"We feel helpless, and we hope law enforcers will punish them," he said.

Zhu said some changes are needed to tackle the issue.

"Improving the medical insurance system is a key factor. The country should pay attention to developing industries involving healthcare, pensions and the prevention and control of chronic diseases," he said.