Increasing violence against doctors and healthcare facilities leads to frustration and demoralization

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 Increasing violence against doctors
and healthcare facilities leads to
frustration and demoralization
Govt. urged to ensure security at hospitals and
comfortable working environment for HCPs
232 Healthcare professionals have so far
died managing Covid patients

ISLAMABAD: Ever increasing cases of violence against healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities is leading to frustration and demoralization in the medical profession. It has enhanced the prevalence of burnout syndrome among the medical profession and many of them are also suffering from fatigue, mental health disorders failing to cope with the difficult working conditions, fearing of getting themselves and their family members infected. So far two hundred thirty two healthcare professionals are reported to have died while managing Covid patients.

Certain media outlets have continued malicious campaign against the medical profession and healthcare facilities for the last few years which has resulted in the increased cases of violence. It is high time that members of the medical profession first put their own house in order, ensure self-monitoring and accountability, make sure that every healthcare facility has some mechanism in place for addressing complaints and grievances of patients and their attendants. Professional specialty organizations should also take this issue seriously and work out some strategy to resolve these issues.

At the same time it is the prime responsibility of the government to ensure safe and secure working environment at healthcare facilities. What is more surprising is the fact that during the last two three years we have witnessed increasing number of violence against healthcare professionals and most often these mobs who create law and order situation at healthcare facilities are led by peoples representatives or other powerful segments in the society. The organized raid at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology at Lahore, injuring the faculty member of Khyber Medical College by the guards of the provincial health minister and most recently attack on doctors at Hayatabad Medical Complex are just a few instances which reflect the prevailing state of affairs and the government.

According to reports now the Peshawar police have booked two sitting members of the provincial assembly for storming Hayatabad Medical Complex and attacking the doctors and nurses. The HMC doctors went on strike for a few days to press the government to implement KP Healthcare Services Providers and Facilities (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act 2020 and improve security of the health facilities. The Provincial Doctors Association has stated that its legal team is looking into issues which were hampering the implementation of this security Act. The PDA has at the same time warned that the law was enacted a year ago but was not being implemented.

Pakistan Medical Association (Centre) and PMA Lahore have also condemned the increased incidence of violence against healthcare professionals and urged the government to fulfill their responsibilities otherwise the doctors will be forced to take some measures.