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Medical career losing appeal in China

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Sat, Jan 05, 2013 12:10 hrs

Beijing, Jan 5 (IANS) Longer working hours and job pressures, poor salaries and increasingly tense relationships with patients that have led to a rising number of attacks have resulted in many Chinese saying no to the medical profession.

Not only are doctors unhappy with their jobs, they are also discouraging their children from following in their footsteps, the China Daily said Saturday.

In September 2011, a male patient slashed a doctor in a Beijing hospital after he reportedly failed to root out the patient's throat cancer tumour, which he believed led to a cancer relapse.

The doctor survived and a court sentenced the patient to 15 years in prison.

In the latest case, a 62-year-old man killed a female doctor with an axe in China's Tianjin city in November 2012.

The Chinese Medical Doctor Association found that 78 percent of the 3,700 doctors it surveyed in March 2011 said they did not want their children to study medicine, while in 2009, 62 percent of the 3,200 subjects surveyed had expressed the same opinion.

In surveys conducted in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2011, the association found that the rate of doctors willing to see their children become medical students was dropping.

The lack of value and pride in the job was also evident from the fact that 96 percent of doctors surveyed in 2011 believed their salary didn't match their labour.

More than 70 percent of those polled said that medical disputes and "too many expectations from patients" added to the work pressure.

"Only one-third of diseases can be effectively treated by medical science, and sometimes it's hard to predict how a disease will develop," said Deng, who was a doctor in Henan for eight years.

"Medical disputes occur when patients and their families feel that the treatment doesn't meet their expectations."

Deng said he has seen different ways of drawing attention -- not just filing complaints and lawsuits, but brawling, stalking and threatening.

"Some (patients) regard paying for medical treatment as paying to get a cabbage in the market," a trainee doctor said.

"However, it is not cabbage. One cannot simply expect that their diseases will be cured as long as they pay for the treatment. One cannot purchase life and health."



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