The police vowed yesterday to help strengthen security at hospitals, in the wake of a case of hospital violence.
The police will expand their patrols to include hospital emergency rooms and will also make more frequent patrols, Criminal Investigation Bureau deputy chief Yang Yuan-ming (楊源明) said.
An average of 600 cases of violence occur in hospital emergency rooms in the country every year, Department of Medical Affairs Director Lee Wui-chiang (李偉強) said.
On Monday, a doctor working in the emergency room of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan County was allegedly knocked unconscious by a patient’s relative.
This followed several high-profile cases last year, including one in which Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Lujhu Township (蘆竹) Representative Wang Kui-fen (王貴芬) reportedly slapped a nurse at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in the face.
Rising hospital violence prompted the legislature to amend the Medical Care Act in January to increase the punishment for such offenses. People who use violence or coercion to obstruct healthcare workers can be sentenced to three years in prison, community service or a maximum fine of NT$300,000. In cases where such violence causes injuries, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison, while in the event of death, an offender can be sentenced to life imprisonment.