Man with mental illness kills 7 people, including six nurses, in China

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A man with a history of mental illness stabbed and killed seven people, six of them nurses, at a sanatorium dormitory in northern China today (Nov 20).

The case is the latest in a string of attacks on medical workers, state media reported.

A hospital administrator was among those killed. Another nurse was seriously injured in the attack, Xinhua said.

The hospital is in Beidaihe, a seaside resort close to Beijing that senior members of the ruling Communist Party favored.

The Beijing News identified the suspect as Li Xiaolong, 27.

He had confessed to having a history of mental illness and had received treatment in Beijing and the nearby city of Tangshan in 2006.

Better security at hospitals

"It is initially understood that the suspect did not have any obvious problems with the deceased," the newspaper website said.

A spate of attacks on doctors and nurses in the past two years has prompted the health ministry to provide better security at hospitals.

While the government has ramped up health spending, hospitals are frequently overwhelmed with patients.

Doctors are also badly paid, leading to corruption and suspicions that staff are more interested in making money by prescribing unnecessary drugs and treatment than they are in tending to the sick.

Despite government efforts to provide a basic safety net, many Chinese are unable to afford health care - a concern that has also prompted attacks in the past. - Reuters

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