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China Publicizes Regulation to Protect Legal Rights of Nurses

The State Council, China's Cabinet, publicized a regulation on nurses in Beijing on Monday, aiming to safeguard their legal rights and interests, and regulate their work.

The regulation, to become effective on May 12, said the dignity of nurses and their personal safety were protected against infringement.

Those who impede nurses to practice their legal services, insult, threat or beat them, must be punished according to the law.

The regulation made clear the establishment of a nurse registration system, nurses' rights and interests and their responsibilities, excellency awarding, and the responsibilities of medical institutions in safeguarding their rights and interests.

It said only those who had received three years of professional training and passed an eight month clinical practice could apply for nurse practitioners' exams. "Only those who passed the exams can be licensed as nurse practitioners," it stressed.

It also said health departments can suspend or even revoke a nurse's license if she does not timely inform doctors of the patient's serious condition and led to serious consequence.

The regulations demanded hospitals employ enough full-time nurses so as to provide satisfactory services to patients. An official with the State Council's legal affairs office noted some hospitals do not employ enough full-time nurses but recruit a few part-time nursing workers to save cost.

It also urged nurses to faithfully fulfill their duties, improve their services and strengthen observation on patients.

The regulation urged local governments above the township levels to improve the working conditions of nurses and enhance their salaries and other related awards so as to improve nursing services.

"Nurses are an important component of the medical force and their work is closely tied to medical security and people's health," said the official, stressing, "It is very important to attract qualified staff to this sector."

(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)

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