- Curbing the Rise of Violence against Doctors
- 2018-06-14 06:44:02 (GMT)
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** Curbing the Rise of Violence against Doctors
With an increase in assault against doctors in the country, medical professionals talk to Ikyatha Yerasala about how such episodes can be curbed…
When Zaida Sanaullah Sheikh, a patient at a Mumbai hospital died, her grief-stricken family members accused two doctors and beat them up ruthlessly. In another incident, three people were arrested in Kolkata after allegedly assaulting a doctor after the death of a patient at a city hospital. These are just some of the alarming cases of assault against doctors in the country. With kith and kin of patients turning increasingly violent against doctors, it’s of utmost importance that this worrying issue be addressed effectively. According to a study by the Indian Medical Association, over 75% of doctors have faced violence at work. Even though 19 states of India have some kind of Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of violence or damage or loss of property) Acts passed, abuse against physicians has not been controlled. This distressing state of affairs in India has even been chronicled in Lancet, an international medical journal.
“Attacks on doctors are nibbling away at the morale of the fraternity and also starting to work against patient interests,” believes Dr Soham D Bhaduri, Physician-Writer and Executive Editor, The Indian Practitioner. “We need to realize that the very fact that doctors deal with life itself makes this profession prone to lofty expectations and therefore to highly inflammable situations that could easily degenerate into violence.”
Violence against doctors is something that countries all across the world witness including China and USA. In India, poor medical services, long waiting periods and ineffective communication by physicians are said to commonly irk patients who seek healthcare. In a study in New Delhi, 73.5% of doctors attributed long waiting periods as a major cause of violence.
Stressing on the importance of doctor-patient communication, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, President, Resident Doctor Association, AIIMS, says, “This responsibility lies with the doctor too – how he/she communicates with the patient is important – one should convey beforehand with kind words and make them aware that medical science is not a miracle. It’s best that this information be conveyed by a senior doctor so that patients feel a sense of security. Most hospitals have junior residents pass on the information to the patient’s family.”
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