At risk while saving lives: 75% Indian doctors face violence at work, reveals study

They may be considered lifesavers but despite that it turns out Indian doctors are at rising risk in the workplace due to the angst of distressed relatives, a recent study has said.

Preliminary findings of an ongoing study by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) have revealed that over 75 percent of doctors in India have faced some form of violence at work. According to this report in The Times of India, maximum violence is faced by the doctors when 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.

According to the report, the attacks on doctors occurred during peak or visiting hours and the incidents varied from "physical assault" to verbal abuse but aren't reported unless physicians perceive some risk to their life .

 

 At risk while saving lives: 75% Indian doctors face violence at work, reveals study

AFP image.

Secretary general of IMA Dr KK Agarwal said that doctors often let incidents pass and don't report them as they understand that the relatives of the patients are under a lot of stress.

An article in the medical journal The Lancet said that delay in attending to a patient, request of advance payments, or withholding a deceased body until settlement of final billing are a few of the reasons why angry relatives tend to lose their temper and attack doctors.

According to The Lancet study, doctors and nurses in China are finding hospitals increasingly unsafe due to rising number of violent incidents.

For example, the study by The Lancet cited example of this patient who stabbed four hospital staff because he had not received immediate treatment. One of the three staff succumbed to his injuries.

The article added that the situation in India might not be as terrible in China, where violence against doctors has increased by at least 7,000 in last five years, but distressingly, it is is on the rise.

Updated Date: May 04, 2015 14:44:59 IST