China's ‘Doctor Day’ will be named

after Canadian Dr. Norman Bethune


Xinhua News Service


BEIJING, China — A political advisor has suggested that China should set March 4, the birthday of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune who treated Chinese soldiers fighting Japanese intruders and died from blood poisoning in 1939, as the nation's Doctor Day.


 Feng Shiliang, a member of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top advisory body, said the proposed Doctor Day will help enhance the public respect and understanding on doctors and spur medical ethics.


 Feng, head of the Liaoning Provincial Diabetes Treatment Center is here attending 12-day annual session of the CPPCC National Committee, which opened in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing Saturday afternoon.


 "As a Canadian communist, Dr. Bethune devoted his life to the care of Chinese and has been a hero and model of doctors in China, and late Chairman Mao Zedong sang his praises for Bethune's selfless work and service in an article that is familiar to almost everyone," said Feng.


 Chinese medical personnel in general are admirable, Feng said. When SARS hit the country in 2003, 33 percent of the people who contracted the disease were medical personnel fighting the epidemic.


 China has Teacher's Day, Nurse Day and Journalist Day at present and no such a national festival for doctors, while it exists in Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine and some other countries.


 Dr. Bethune was born on March 4, 1890, in the small Ontario Town of Gravenhurst, Canada. He came to China in 1938 during China 's war of resistance against Japanese aggression and set up a front-line mobile hospital where he operated on wounded soldiers. He is credited with saving thousands of lives.


 In 1991 China began to issue Bethune Medal as the highest prize for medical personnel of the country. A 20-episode television drama on Dr. Bethune was shown on China Central Television last year and was hailed "vivid and touching."