Michael Woodhead's blog China Medical News does an extraordinary job of covering a huge beat: healthcare for over a billion people. Here's his latest post: Six sick crimes: Supreme Court issues guidelines on how to manage violent medical disputes. Excerpt:
In response to a wave of attacks on doctors and nurses, China's Supreme Court has released a list of six illegal activities that will be targeted as part of guidelines on how to manage violent disputes in healthcare settings.
The criminal activities highlighted are:
1. Attacking doctors and damaging hospital property,
2. Setting up shrines and burning paper money (to pay respect to the dead) in medical institutions,
3. Restricting doctors' freedom (e.g., harassing doctors, blocking their movement)
4. Insulting medical workers,
5. Bringing weapons into medical institutions,
6. Instigating others (including family members) to commit crimes against medical staff.
Any violations of these guidelines will result in serious consequences, and offenders will be convicted and punished under criminal law, the Supreme Court has announced.
One of my Chinese pen pals is married to a college history teacher who used to be a doctor; angry patients effectively drove him out of his profession. Given where it's happening, attacking healthcare workers is automatically a global-health problem.