Monday, 23 December 2013

"Orderly hospitals" campaign requires security and dispute resolution policies for all hospitals

by Michael Woodhead
Chinese health and security authorities have launched a comprehensive hospital safety and security campaign that will require all hospitals to provide security guards, surveillance systems, mediation services and adverse event investigation and complaint resolution processes.
The campaign is in response to an increasing number of medical disputes between unhappy patients, families and hospitals that have led to fights, attacks on medical staff and riots.
An action plan, issued by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the Ministry of Public Security (PSB) and nine other central departments at the beginning of December, aims at improving medical order and cracking down on crimes related to medical workers and hospitals.
The plan requires the PSB to implement policies to investigate and crack down on criminal acts against hospital and medical staff. This will include ensuring that security staff are on duty in all hospitals at level two (county level) and above and that a security report desk is installed in all such hospitals. The plan also requires major hospitals to have video surveillance systems covering all areas, an emergency response and co-ordinating centre and reporting system to local police. Level 2 hospitals and above will be required to set up a police report desk in the hospital.
Hospital are also required to set up dispute resolution and mediation centres for the public and timely complaint and appeal processes for people with grievances.
Hospitals and public security are also to clamp down on "professional" fake protester and troublemakers hired by patients to blackmail and intimidate hospital staff.

The plan also calls for action to be taken against 'scalpers' and people who sell hospital registration numbers to help queue jumpers for treatment.
According to the Global Times, in recent years, almost all large-scale conflicts and protests in hospitals were allegedly plotted by some "professional" people.On December 9, nearly 100 people vandalized Guangzhou Elizabeth Women's Hospital, damaging the windows and doors and injuring six hospital staff. Most of the detained protesters confessed to local police that they did not know the patient or the patient's family. "They benefit from the compensation that hospitals give to the patient's family," police officer Xiao Shaowen told CCTV. Xiao said there are also professional "directors," who instead of participating in the protest, guide the "protesters." Many of the "directors" are unlicensed lawyers or are local gang members, who often contact a patient's family and promise them compensation.
The action plan also calls for security departments to ban people from holding banners, putting up wreaths or setting up a mourning hall in hospitals, including the practice of sometimes leaving the deceased's body at the hospital.
Source: Ifeng

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