Connect with us

Headlines of The Day

Inequalities in Indian health system fuel violence against doctors

Increasing violence against doctors is fuelled by frustrations at longstanding failures and discrimination in India’s health system, writes Rahat Touhid

Harish Mohammad, a doctor interning at a government general hospital in Kochi, was attacked by two men visiting a patient on 1 July—India’s National Doctor’s Day.

“It’s everywhere you look and it’s terrifying,” Mohammad told The BMJ, “It’s heart breaking to see how things have escalated to this point, there’s no escape from it.”

In India, 63% of doctors fear violence from patients and their families, particularly in high stress situations such as in psychiatry or emergency wards and intensive care units. “Violence has become very common,” says Mohammad, “it’s like a daily affair.”

According to the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, violence against doctors is on the rise in economically developing countries. In 82% of cases, the perpetrators are family members or relatives of a patient. “The perception is that doctors can be beaten up without any consequence,” says Dipra Biswas, senior resident doctor at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jodhpur.

The pandemic has increased tensions, with more than 200 cases of violence officially registered by doctors across the country in the past three years, and not a single conviction. Actual numbers are expected to be higher, as few data are available on the number of cases pre-pandemic, particularly since most violence (anecdotally) occurs in rural hospitals where it goes unreported.

“People don’t see the problem until there’s data to show the violence,” says Dipra, “And no [official] wants to spend money to solve a problem that they don’t perceive to exist in the first place.” The BMJ

Copyright © 2024 Medical Buyer

error: Content is protected !!