Life and death are in the hands of God, they say. In a society like ours, doctors are seen as saviours, and sometimes elevated to the status of God. When these saviours fail to save our dear ones, a n array of emotions of distress and pain leads to anger and violence. A recent study conducted by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has revealed that almost 75 percent of doctors face some or the other form of violence while doing their jobs.
Maximum violence has been faced while providing emergency services, with as many as 48.8 percent of such incidents reported from Intensive Care Units (ICUs) or after a patient had undergone surgery, the study said. Escorts of patients committed 68.33 percent of the violence as per the findings of the data of the past five years.
Doctors have been victims to verbal abuse, threatening and physical assault. Experts say the issue is much more grave as many cases have gone unreported. A single case of violence against a doctor results in strikes and protests thus bringing the whole medical institution to a total breakdown and leaving the patients stranded.
There is always the other side of the story that needs to be looked into. Experts suggest the hospitals must provide counselling to the relatives of the patients in such cases. They should be also informed clearly about the condition of the patient as there is a very thin line between hope and expectation. The irregular, long and tough working hours for the doctors is another reason of rudeness.
The IMA is pitching to the Centre for a stringent law to address the situation. Some hospitals like Deen Dayal Upadhyay in Delhi have appointed ‘bouncers’ as security guards to ensure the safety of the medical staff. It has considerably helped in reducing the number of cases of violence in hospitals.
We need to understand the fact that doctors are human beings and they can’t perform miracles. Violence in any form is not justified.