The doctor-patient relationship needs to be about more than just supply and demand – it's a relationship based on trust, says Ling Feng, deputy to the National People’s Congress and Chief Expert of the Neurosurgical Department at Beijing Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University.
Bian Guangchun of The Beijing News, which reported Ling's comments, says medicine should transcend pure commercialism. Which skills doctors develop, and which medical equipment is acquired by hospitals, is not dictated purely by the market, he explains.
Doctors and patients need to put themselves in each others' shoes, he writes. Assuming that doctors are just trying to make money will only grow the animosity between doctors and patients. So will doctors who only treat well-off patients.
Patients should not embarrass or harass doctors if their treatment does not meet their expectations, but doctors should be sure to treat all patients equally.