On-the-job violence from patients or their families has become a serious hazard for Chinese doctors, a survey reveals.
Some 60 percent of China's doctors have personally experienced, or have seen their colleagues subjected to such violence, Xinhua news agency reports.
The survey, co-sponsored by the mass-circulation China Youth Daily and Dingxiangyuan, an online medical forum, said that worsening doctor-patient relationships had hurt doctors' health and professional enthusiasm.
The deteriorating relationship was due to China's huge population, the relative shortage of medical resources and rising medical costs. Doctors have complained of a heavy workload, while patients have accused doctors of being impatient, money-oriented and unethical.
In extreme cases, doctors have been beaten and medical facilities damaged.
Of the 4,353 respondents, all of whom were medical practitioners aged between 25-45, 40 percent admitted to being under severe stress and "sometimes on the verge of a breakdown." This was not because of career or financial concerns but because of suspicion and mistrust from patients and the public.
Some 63 percent of the respondents said that they felt their health had deteriorated and 54 percent had never exercised in the past six months due to long working hours.
Dingxiangyuan also asked doctors about their long-term career plans. More than half of the respondents said that they had considered leaving medicine and about 36 percent said they were still considering the idea. Only 8 percent denied they ever had such an idea.
However, 63 percent chose "curing patients and gaining their trust" as the thing that could make them happiest.