Wednesday, 1 January 2014

29 Shanghai hospitals busted for allowing smoking

Twenty-nine local hospitals were blacklisted for failing to control smoking on the premises after undercover checks by authorities on some 400 medical facilities. But the hospitals said without any legal protection they can’t stop people from smoking.
Those blacklisted include three well-known maternity hospitals, one leading pediatric hospital and some big hospitals. The list was put up on the official microblog of local health authority and the city government yesterday.
The authorities faulted the hospitals for lack of no-smoking signs, especially on the stairs, elevators, corridors and restrooms, and a lack of staff to deal with people smoking on the premises.
Patients’ families were found smoking outside surgery rooms and some hospitals had staff smoking inside their offices. Designated smoking areas were also an area of concern.
Some hospitals had indoor smoking areas while others allowed people to smoke outdoors but  were too close to people.

A law enacted in March 2010 to control smoking in Shanghai states that indoor and outdoor areas of primary and middle schools, maternity and children’s hospitals and indoor areas of certain hospitals should be off limits for smokers. Places where smoking is banned must install no-smoking signs and have staff to keep out smokers.
But hospitals said it was difficult to keep out smokers without legal help. The testy relations between doctors and patients made it worse, as patients’  relatives refuse to listen to staff.
“It is impossible to call police if we have smokers here,” said an official from the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, which was on the blacklist.
Officials from Shanghai Health Education Institute, which was involved in the first smoking-control law study and legislation, said the current regulation put too much emphasis on its feasibility.
“The law falls way short of meeting the requirements of the 2005 World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, of which China is a signatory,” said Hu Zhaoming, vice director of the institute. “Under the framework, smoking should be banned in all workplaces, public venues and public transportation.”
He said experts have been lobbying lawmakers to amend the city’s law for a complete smoking ban in indoor places.
Source: Shanghai Daily

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