Police to step up hospital patrols amid new violence
March 19, 2014, 12:07 am TWN
TAIPEI--Taiwan's police vowed Tuesday to help strengthen security at local hospitals, in the wake of yet another case of hospital violence.
The police will expand their patrol areas to include hospital emergency rooms and will also make more frequent patrols, said Yang Yuan-ming, deputy chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
According to Li Wei-chiang, head of the Department of Medical Affairs under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, an average 600 cases of violence occur in hospital emergency rooms in Taiwan every year, and the situation should not be allowed to continue.
On Monday, a doctor working in the emergency room of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan County was reportedly knocked unconscious by a patient's relative.
This followed several high-profile cases last year, including an incident in which a local politician slapped a nurse at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in the face.
The prevalence of hospital violence prompted the Legislative Yuan to amend the Medical Care Act in January to increase the punishment for such offences.
In cases where such violence causes injuries, the maximum penalty is 10 years prison, while in the event of death the offender can be sentenced to life imprisonment.