China media: Attacks on doctors

Doctors in China are demanding better security for medical staff, reports say Image copyright AFP
Image caption Doctors in China are demanding better security for medical staff, reports say

Violence against medical workers, China's "war on smog" and the second child policy are the main themes in Friday's papers.

The safety of medical workers has fallen into the media spotlight due a recent series of attacks on hospital staff

In a recent incident, a doctor at a hospital in Guangdong Province was surrounded and humiliated by more than 100 people on Wednesday afternoon.

According to reports, the crowd dragged and paraded the weeping doctor in the courtyard for failing to save a drunk 37-year-old man from dying of a heart attack.

Condemning the unruly behaviour of the crowd, the Southern Metropolis Daily comments that communication channels between medical workers and patients need to be improved.

It adds that a lack of respect for doctors from the public amid rising medical costs might also be a reason for the "tragedy".

"The patients see the doctors as businessmen, and the medical institutions are using the doctors to increase their earningsā€¦ doctors should be given due respect in terms of incentives and recognition to keep them motivated," the daily says.

The People's Daily notes that the recent incident took place on the same day the National Party Congress started its annual session in Beijing.

"I have noticed this report. It is very bad behaviour. Local authorities will deal with them legally," Li Bin, the minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, is quoted by the daily as saying.

Ms Li adds that the delegates attending the parliamentary meetings have expressed shock and anger towards recent violent attacks on medical staff and have given "a number of good suggestions" to deal with the situation.

Smog and Olympics

Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang urged more proactive measures to curb pollution and suggested not to "wait for the wind or depend on the rain" at a meeting on Thursday, the China Radio International reports.

Mr Li has declared "a war on smog" in his latest work report, to reduce emissions of PM10 and PM2.5, small particles that are hazardous to human health.

"The smog situation would be a major hindrance to Beijing's bid for the Winter Olympics in 2022," Yang Xiaochao, Beijing's deputy mayor and the vice-president of the bidding committee, tells the Beijing Times.

China announced last month that Beijing and Zhangjiakou, a nearby mountain town, would jointly bid for the 2022 Winter Games.

Mr Yang says that Beijing's experience in hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics will be an advantage in the bidding, "if the heavy smog continues, it will pose a great challenge for us, but on the other hand, our bid to host the games will be a major push" for cleaning up the environment.

Elsewhere, papers are asking if the one-child policy will be fully lifted to allow all couples to have two children.

In December last year, China passed a resolution allowing couples to have two children if either parent is an only child.

According to the Xinhua news agency, China's health department says it does not have a timeline to implement a full second-child policy and adds that the ministry will leave it to the provinces to decide how they will adopt the latest policy change.

The Southern Metropolis says the Guangdong Province is conducting a survey to assess the population structure and the number of families planning for a second child before it eases the current one-child policy.

Staying with news of the parliamentary meetings, Zhang Chunxian, party chief for Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, has pledged to fight terrorism with "tremendous force".

Nur Bekir, chairman of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, added that "external forces" were influencing separatism in Xinjiang, the Beijing News reports.

"There are people outside the country who do not wish to see a united, powerful communist China standing strongly in the east. These people with ulterior motives are fanning the situation. We have to remain vigilant," he is quoted as saying.

Beijing blamed the Kunming attacks on separatists from Xinjiang Autonomous Region, home to the Muslim Uighur minority group.

And finally, police have arrested 45 people for spreading rumours about terrorism online after the Kunming attack.

According to the report on China Central Television, these internet users were punished for creating panic and disturbing public order as they fabricated rumours about violent attacks in various Chinese cities.

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