Thursday, 16 January 2014

Research requirement corrupts junior doctors, meeting told

translated by Michael Woodhead
Top doctors have called on hospitals to drop the requirement for would-be doctors to take part in medical research to qualify for a position, saying it is a waste of resources and leads to corruption.
At a meeting of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) in Guangzhou, leading doctors told the meeting that the academic research requirement was superfluous and prevented front-line doctors from doing useful clinical work.
Professor Hu Xueqiang, head of the neurology department at the Sun Yatsen University 3rd Hospital said academic research was a waste of time for doctors who spent their careers doing surgery and treating large numbers of patients for everyday complaints.
"To work at our hospital young doctors need to have written papers and show they have done some research for their professional evaluation, but we have 50-year old doctors at primary level hospitals who are excellent at their job who have never had to do this. They are steadfast workers, the backbone of the system," he said.
He was supported by Dr Zhai Ziwen, director of the respiratory department at the No 1 Renmin Hospital in Guangzhou, who said: "It doesn't matter hospital you want to work at, the requirements are for research papers. But which primary level hospital needs clinicians with research skills? And anyway, 90% of this so-called research submitted with applications is fraudulent," he said.
Many other doctors at the meeting strongly agreed, with some saying that the academic research requirements led to academic corruption as would-be doctors needed connections ('guangxi') with professors to get a research project. "This diverts funds and resources from real research," they said.
Dr Zhao said there was a need for a more balanced system, allowing major academic hospitals to continue using the current system but also permitting basic level hospitals to drop the requirements for academic research. "The one size fits all system is not suitable for primary level hospitals," he said.
Other doctors told the meeting that the current system was biased against smaller hospitals and was leading to systemic corruption.
Guangzhou deputy governor Lin Shaochun told the CPPCC meeting that he appreciated the depth of the problem and would work towards an effective solution in conjunction with the provincial health department human resources department.
Source: Sohu

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