A paediatrician in eastern China has been stabbed to death by an angry father after the man’s baby daughter died shortly after her birth.
Li Baohua, 34, who worked at Laigang Hospital in Laiwu, Shandong province, was stabbed 15 times – 12 times in his head – after being attacked in his office on Monday morning by the suspect, identified as Chen Jianli, The Beijing News reported.
Surgeons battled for five hours to try to save him, but to no avail, according to the report.
The incident is only the latest in a series of violent attacks by patients on medical staff at hospitals.
Chen reportedly carried out the attack after bringing a knife and a dagger into the hospital by hiding the weapons inside a shoulder bag, the report said.
He then went to Li’s office on the fifth floor, where he carried out the attack, the newspaper said.
Chen reportedly also prevented Li’s colleagues from coming to his aid.
Pictures circulated on Chinese social media showed numerous blood splatters on the hospital’s floor following the attack.
Comments on social media said Chen’s daughter had died from pneumonia and blood poisoning at the hospital, and that her family had yet to reach any settlement with the hospital.
A hospital employee said the baby girl had been suffering from common illnesses and that her condition had rapidly deteriorated.
Officials at the Yinshan public security bureau in Shandong said on Tuesday that Chen had been arrested and an investigation was underway.
Both the National Health and Family Planning Commission and Public Security Ministry said the suspect should face severe punishment.
In China, disputes between doctors and patients are not uncommon.
The violence highlights a deepening unease between doctors and patients, with many doctors complaining about being overworked and underpaid, while patients often feel dissatisfied with the levels of service at hospitals and high costs due to insufficient government subsidies.
The average number of assaults on doctors in China surged to 27.3 per hospital in 2012, up from 20.6 in 2008, according to a survey by Chinese Hospital Association.
More than 17,000 violent incidents involving medical staff at hospitals were recorded by China’s Ministry of Health in 2010, compared with 10,000 in 2005.
In a widely publicised incident in 2012, a patient suffering from tuberculosis and a form of spinal arthritis killed an intern who had not been involved in his treatment and injured three more people with a knife after he thought he had been misdiagnosed by a hospital in northeastern Harbin.