Seven people, including six nurses, were stabbed to death on Thursday in a hospital dormitory in northern China. A 27-year-old suspect has been detained by authorities, according to reports.
A hospital administrator was also killed in the Thursday attack conducted at a hospital in Beidaihe, a seaside resort about 185 miles from Beijing that is popular among senior members of the ruling Communist Party, Reuters reported, citing Xinhua. The report did not give any details about the assailant’s background or the motive behind the attack. The incident is the latest addition to a string of attacks against medical workers by disgruntled patients and family members distraught over the death of their relatives.
Chinese police officials have reportedly increased security at hospitals amid an increasing frequency of attacks and hospitals began arming their workers with pepper spray earlier this year. Hospital doctors in China are usually poorly paid, leading to an increase in corruption and a drop in the quality of care at the country's medical institutions, Reuters reported.
Last November, a man in eastern China fatally stabbed a hospital official because he was not allowed to meet his doctor after an unsatisfactory medical procedure. In another incident, a patient committed suicide after stabbing a doctor six times during an altercation, after the doctor said that there were complications stemming from an arm surgery.
According to the latest available ministry data, in 2010, there were 17,243 cases of violent attacks, in the form of beatings, threats, kidnappings, verbal abuse and murder, on doctors and other health care workers in China.
In January, a survey by the Chinese Hospital Association showed that more than 60 percent of hospitals reported that their staff was assaulted by patients and their relatives, while nearly 40 percent of doctors wanted to quit their job for fear of a violent attack.