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From the Chinese press

Updated: 2014-08-19 06:52
(China Daily)

Let's end doctor-patient conflicts

Stories narrated by a doctor in a newspaper column have drawn wide attention on social media, which is a good development considering that doctor-patient relations have not been cordial for a long time. The column has opened a channel for doctors and other medical workers to voice their feelings and moved many readers, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts:

Doctors and other medical professionals deserve the greatest respect because they treat patients and save lives. But the conflicts between doctors and patients across the country have prompted people to view medical professionals as "profiteers" and prevented many youths from choosing the medical profession.

There is a severe shortage of medical resources in China. Although about 600,000 students graduate from medical colleges every year, only one-sixth of them choose to practice medicine.

The government needs to invest more funds to improve the healthcare sector, especially because it is still very difficult for poor people to get proper medical care. The lack of medical facilities for the lower-income group has led to many conflicts for which doctors have been blamed.

There is no doubt that problems exist in terms of professional skills and the attitude of doctors and medical workers, but the situation is changing for the better with many hospitals improving their facilities and services. Medical workers like the doctor who wrote the column in the newspaper want to, and have already made efforts, to help patients and thus reduce doctor-patient conflicts. Therefore, their opinions need to be heard.

If the public reflects on the developments and tries to view the medical profession without prejudice, it could help reduce doctor-patient tensions.

The problem with realty market

Some media reports say a few local governments have eased the restrictions on housing purchase and even issued loose credit and loan policies to help boost the housing market. That Hong Kong-based business magnate Li Ka-shing has sold off an office building in Shanghai which he bought in 2011 has added to the uncertainties of the housing market, says an article in Economic Reference. Excerpts:

Since August 2013 Li Ka-shing's company has sold off nearly 20 billion yuan ($3.25 billion) worth of properties. As a magnate who has excelled in the real estate sector, Li's business moves are usually regarded as investment indicators in China. Besides, he is also known for his risk control measures in the market. So, why is he selling off his properties on the Chinese mainland?

The demand and supply in the housing market have reached a turning point. A recent survey conducted by Peking University shows that on average a Chinese family owns 1.35 apartments and, to some extent, the supply in the housing market now exceeds demand. No wonder, a smart and wise real estate investor like Li has been selling his properties to make profits.

The real estate markets in Western countries are yielding higher investment value now, especially after the bursting of the property bubble. This April, Li's company bought two properties in London in the hope of making better gains in the near future. Other real estate companies, like Wanda and Greenland, too have started investing in real estate overseas.

The Chinese economy is now in transition, there are still great uncertainties ahead. The slowing-down economic growth could have a huge impact on the housing market. Given these facts, wise investors are not expected to put all their eggs in one basket.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily 08/19/2014 page9)

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