China recruits "guardian angels" to protect embattled doctors
Published on Apr 9, 2014 3:17 PM
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's capital Beijing is taking a novel approach to protecting doctors from growing levels of violence from angry patients: volunteer "guardian angels".
The campaign will recruit students, medical workers and other patients to act as middlemen between doctors and those in their care to defuse disagreements and smooth over tensions, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
Doctors in China have come under increasing threat as the country's health-care system struggles to cope with low doctor numbers, poor levels of training and rampant corruption inflating the price of care. This has seen a number of fatal attacks by patients on doctors in the past year.
"Patients will understand doctors better after talking with our volunteers," Mr Feng Guosheng, head of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals told Xinhua, adding services would include "hospital guidance" and "psychological intervention".
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