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Microblogging violent attacks on medical staff: A case study of the Longmen County People’s Hospital incident, an indication of a health care crisis in China

LI DU; Jia Tian

A violent attack on medical staff in Guangdong Province, in which a female doctor at Longmen County People’s Hospital (LCPH) was severely injured by a knife-wielding patient, has drawn significant public attention to the phenomenon of hospital violence and initiated discussions on how to resolve violence in hospitals. Social networking sites, such as Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, have played a role in this public debate. The incident at LCPH provides an opportunity to examine how Weibo has been used in the debate about violence against medical staff in China. Using the Sina Weibo’s built-in search tool, we established a dataset of 661 Chinese-language micro-blogs containing the search terms: Longmen (“龙门”), doctor (“医生”), and slash (“砍”) that were posted between July 15, 2015, the date of the violent incident at LCPH, and August 15, 2015. We performed a content analysis of the micro-blogs to examine: users’ demographics, attitudes toward the injured doctor and the attacker, possible reasons for the hospital violence, and proposed measures for preventing doctors from violent incidents. 

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