75 % of Doctors and Medicos attacked during duty

Urgent Need To Make Health-care Facilities Safe  for Medics

New Delhi: The violent attacks on doctors and medicos in the public health sector has seen an upward trend in recent years and according to a recent report of IMA (Indian Medical Association)  75 per cent of doctors have faced some form of violence at some point of time.

Executive Member of the Federation of Hospital Administrator Dr Naresh Purohit said here on Tuesday that due to the increasing violence,  medics are reluctant to take up serious cases, compromising health-care delivery. There is an urgent need to make health-care facilities safe havens for doctors as only then can they work with complete dedication, he added.

Sharing his concern on violent attacks on healthcare professionals Dr Purohit who is also WHO- Covid-19 technical lead and noted healthcare administrator, said that violence may comprise telephonic threats, intimidation, verbal abuse, physical but non -injurious assault, physical assault causing simple or grievous injury, murder, vandalism, and arson. 

He averred that medical professionals who faced violence have been known to develop psychological issues such as depression, insomnia, posttraumatic stress, fear, and anxiety, leading to absenteeism. Many have lost their clinics, injured themselves, lost lives, and also tarnished their reputation as a professional due to these incidents.

“Usually it is the five minutes of anger caused by a month-long unpleasant experience during treatment, which drives the patient to act violently. It is because undergraduate medical students are not  taught  social skills to deal with these situations yet,” observed Dr Purohit

Acclaimed physician, Dr Purohit felt that those medics, who explained things properly to the patient and their kin, were less susceptible to violence. 

He further averred that when a relationship of trust changes to business, as seen in corporate hospitals, the effect of that also affects government hospitals as the mentality of the patients has changed. We need to ask ourselves why these violent acts, which hardly used to happen two decades ago, have become frequent now.

He  emphasised the need to have qualified social workers, psychological counsellors or trained volunteers to act as a liaison between the doctors and patients. There ought to be a clear hierarchy of conflict escalation and resolution overseen by a professional from the quality and safety department.