A man was detained after three medical staff and a member of the public were wounded in a knife attack a Beijing hospital that left a doctor needing surgery to save one of his hands.
A 36-year-old man surnamed Cui assaulted the doctor at Chaoyang district hospital at about 2pm on Monday, according to a police report on Weibo, China's Twitter-like network. Cui was detained and questioned, while medical staff and the visitor were treated for their injuries.
Their lives were not in danger, police said, but a source told the Caixin news website that a doctor named Tao Yong, head of the ophthalmology department, needed surgery to save one of his hands.
A witness told Beijing Daily that Tao was examining a patient on the seventh floor of the hospital when a relative of the patient hacked at the doctor several times with a vegetable chopper.
Tao ran from the room and was chased down to the sixth floor, where the attacker was caught by security staff. Two other members of staff were wounded as they tried to stop the attack, while the woman, who was taking her child for treatment, was hurt.
Caixin reported that Tao had several cuts on his head, and had suffered nerve damage to one of his hands that needed surgery.
A video that appeared on Weibo showed that a hospital hallway had been sealed off and there were blood stains on the floor.
A report from the Chinese Medical Doctor Association published in 2018 found that two-thirds of doctors in China had reported conflicts with patients, and that more than 30 per cent of health professionals had experienced violence at work.
Monday's incident was the latest in a string of attacks on staff by patients and their relatives, where a lack of resources, limited services and disputes over diagnosis were blamed.
On Christmas Eve, doctor Yang Wen was stabbed in the neck after an argument with relatives of a 95-year-old stroke victim at the Civil Aviation General Hospital in Beijing. She died the next day, and her killer was sentenced to death last week.
The attack at Chaoyang hospital provoked anger online, with one Weibo user writing: "We should show zero tolerance for those who injure doctors."
Another said that while medical staff were putting their lives on the line to tackle hazards like the coronavirus outbreak, it was unacceptable that they should also have to deal with violence at work.
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