Notification on Ensuring the Safety of Medical Personnel and Preserving a Positive Medical Order During the Period of Epidemic Prevention and Control

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To each province, autonomous region, and directly-governed municipality's health commission, high people's court, people's procruatorate, public security department (bureau), people's liberation army military court, military procuratorates, the Xinjiang production and construction corps' health commission, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region's high people's court branch for the production and construction corps, and the people's procuratorate and public security bureau for the Xinjiang production and construction corps:

Recently, General Secretary Xi Jinping has given important instructions on efforts to ensure the safety of medical personnel and preserve positive order in medical treatment during the period for prevention and control of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. In order to earnestly implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions, and on the basis of the deployments of the Party Central Committee's Leading Group Conference on Efforts to Respond to the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Epidemic, notice is given as follows on efforts to ensure the safety of medical personnel and preserve positive order in medical treatment:

I. Fully Recognize Importance of Efforts to Ensure the Safety of Medical Personnel and Preserve a Positive Medical Order During the Period of Epidemic Prevention and Control

For a long time, the vast medical personnel of our nation have worked tirelessly and with selfless dedication in the medical frontlines, making a major contribution to protecting the public's lives and health, and promoting the development of medical and health services in our nation. Especially since the occurrence of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, the nation's health and hygiene system has earnestly implemented the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions on the all-out effort to prevent and control the epidemic, and in accordance with the requirements of the Central Party Commission's unified deployments, have fully engaged in efforts to prevent and control the epidemic. The broad medical community has left their homes to help us all, have spared no effort to treat patients and to prevent and control the epidemic, and have always placed the people's security in their lives and physical health above all else. Recently, some medical and health establishments have seen patients and their families strike or berate medical personnel, intentionally disturb the medical order and other such acts, seriously infringing the lawful rights and interests of medical personnel and creating a vile social impact. The prevention and control of the epidemic is currently at a critical stage and ensuring the safety of medical personnel and preserving normal medical order are important safeguards for victory over the epidemic. All localities and departments should further raise their political stance, strengthen their "four consciousnesses" uphold "four self-confidences", so that "two maintenances", practical thinking and action to General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions and Party central policies and arrangements, the epidemic prevention and control work as the most important current task, to firmly establish bottom-line thinking and risk prevention awareness, pay close attention to strictly guard against all kinds of criminal acts involving doctors during the epidemic prevention and control, in particular, a violation of medical staff personal safety and disrupt the normal medical order behavior shall be severely punished according to the law to crack down, create a good environment for medical staff and patients' diagnosis and treatment, to secure the smooth operation of epidemic prevention and control work.

II. Strictly Combat Illegal and Criminal Activity Involving Medicine in Accordance with Law During the Period of Epidemic Prevention and Control

Where the commission of the following infringements of medical personnel's safety or disruption of medical order constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility is to be pursued in accordance with law; where it constitutes a violation of the administration of public security, public security administrative penalties are to be given: (1) Striking, intentionally harming, or intentionally killing medical personnel; (2) Unlawfully restricting the physical liberty of medical personnel using violence, threats, or other such methods, or openly berating, intimidating, or defaming medical personnel; (3) Ripping protective items off medical personnel, spitting on them, or other conduct that could cause medical personnel to be infected with the novel coronavirus; (4) Using violence or threats in refusing to accept testing, isolation, or treatment from medical and hygiene establishments; or obstructing medical and hygiene establishments from lawfully disposing of the corpses of infected patients; (5) Forcibly seizing, intentionally destroying, or taking possession medical and health establishments' assets; or causing a commotion, illegally positioning corpses, or setting up memorials to disrupt order or impact the normal conduct of epidemic prevention and control work in medical and hygiene establishments; (6) Illegally carrying guns, ammunition, controlled items, or explosive, radioactive, toxic, or corrosive items into medical and hygiene establishments; or (7) other circumstances infringing the safety of medical personnel or disrupting medical order.

Where the circumstances described above occur during the period of prevention and control of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, the departments for health administration shall promptly guide medical and hygiene establishments in emergency response efforts for the incident, employ decisive measures, ensure the safety of medical personnel and other patients to the greatest extent possible, preserve medical order and promptly call the police, and assist in efforts for safety and protection. After public security organs receive a call they shall promptly dispatch officers and quickly address it; and where criminal responsibility shall be pursued, lawfully and promptly open a case and investigate, fully and regularly collect and fix evidence.

Where crimes are constituted in the situations described above, the people's procuratorates shall quickly approve arrest and initiate a prosecution. The people's courts shall accelerate trial progress, and on a foundation of fully ascertaining the case facts, shall correctly apply the law, convict, and sentence. Where the motive for the crime is vile, the circumstances heinous, the methods cruel, the subjective malice deep or the physical threat severe, or where the crime seriously endangers public safety, resolutely give heavier punishment through the death penalty in accordance with law where the requirements are met.

III. Strengthen Medical and Hygiene Establishments' Protection and Security Measures

All levels of department for health administration shall summarize the requirements for epidemic prevention and control work, and further implement the requirements of documents such as the "Guiding Opinions on the Establishment of a Hospital Safety and Protection System" (Guoweibanyifa (2013) No.28) and the "Notification on the Release of the Opinions on Tight Prevention and Control of Violations and Crimes involving Medicine to Preserve the Normal Medical Order" (Guoweibanyifa (2017) No. 27), to urge and guide medical and hygiene establishments to complete and improve all safety and protection systems. Focus on urging and guiding the medical and health institutions undertaking epidemic prevention and control work to strengthen security work, set up emergency security teams as needed, and focus on strengthening the security work in community health service establishments, hospital fever clinics, isolation wards and other key diagnosis and treatment areas with concentrated human traffic. Actively investigate and use mediation to resolve all kinds of conflicts and disputes between doctors and patients, promtply eliminate of all kinds of security risks, to strictly prevent "small matters becoming bigger and big things blowing up". Strengthen safety training and education for medical personnel, increase awareness of prevention and control, security personnel shall strengthen vigilance, and latent threats to medical personnel's physical safety shall be promptly reported to the police when discovered. Local public security organs should comprehensively upgrade the service level of designated medical and hygiene institutions, strengthen explicit use of police, strengthen prevention and control patrols, and guide medical and health institutions to implement all safety precautions measures in accordance with the requirements of "a specialized unit for each hospital" to ensure the safety of medical personnel and medical and hygiene institutions.

IV. Complete and Improve Work Mechanisms for Coordination and Cooperation

During the period of epidemic prevention and control, each relevant department should further strengthen awareness of the overall situation and of responsibility, relying on working groups for the action of creating 'peaceful hospitals' to solidify mechanisms for the division of labor and coordination of multiple allied departments. All levels of department for health administration and medical and hygiene establishment should proactively strengthen work communication with public security organs, draft improved emergency response work plans for the period of epidemic prevention and control, establish and complete mechanisms for information circulation, sharing, handling, and feedback; and shall immediately report and promptly employ prevention measures for potential threats that exist in epidemic prevention and control work. Public security organs shall further strengthen communication and coordination with people's procuratorates and people's courts to actively cooperate with them on opinions and recommendations that are made in the course of case handling, such as to supplement or verify evidence. Where the people's courts discover during trials that medical and hygiene establishments have unsound security and protection mechanisms or other such issues, they shall put forward a judicial recommendation. During the course of handling case matters, each relevant department shall proactively strengthen communication with the publicity departments, to promptly publish information in accordance with law and respond to public concerns.

After this Notice is issued, each region shall promptly report incidents infringing medical personnel's safety or disrupting medical order during the period of epidemic prevention and control to the National Health Commission and Ministry of Public Security; and where questions on the application of law are encountered during related criminal cases, the Suprement People's Procuratorate and Supreme People's Court shall be promptly reported to.

National Health Commission

Supreme People's Court

Supreme People's Procuratorate

Ministry of Public Security

February 7, 2020

 

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