They are upset and scared. And they urgently demand measures to protect them from the violent attacks by patients and their relatives. Doctors in Greek public hospital feel they are left alone and unprotected.
On Tuesday, a gynecologists was beaten by the husband of a pregnant woman at the public hospital of Agrinio in Western Greece. The doctor suffered injuries on the face, the 34-year-old perpetrator fled and was sought by the police.
A month earlier, a doctor at the emergencies department of the general hospital of Nikaia, Piraeus, was beaten by a group of ten people who claimed that there was delay in the medical check of their relative.
The phenomenon of violence against doctors and nurses in public hospitals by furious patients and their escorts has reportedly gone out of control.
The Medical Association of Athens condemns the increasing incidents of violence in public hospitals and calls on the Health Ministry to take immediate action.
“The Athens Medical Association is particularly concerned about the increasing incidence of violence in public health structures against the healthcare staff and calls on the Ministry of Health to ensure the safety of staff and the proper operation of hospitals,” the ESA said in a statement.
“We understand the frustration and displeasure of the citizens who seek health services, but the public hospital doctors are working under particularly difficult circumstances to keep upright the collapsing health system and bear no responsibility for the serious dysfunction of the hospitals,” the statement added.
The Medical Association of Athens demands the immediate implementation of security measures in public hospitals with a 24-hour presence of security staff during general on-call services, increasing of funding and hiring of additional staff.
PS much to my experience delays at the hospitals emergencies, at least in Athens, have largely to do next to staff shortage also with the dysfunction in the patients’ distribution to the special departments. In addition, nobody tells the patients that results of certain tests need time. As someone who has been accompanying elderly parents to emergencies I can say that average time one spends at emergencies is 6 hours incl waiting time and test results. Patients for Cardiology are served quickly, while one can stand in line for the General Medicine Department for 2-3 hours before one sees the doctor.
At the same time, one gets quickly in the Surgery Dept but then one can wait up to 15 hours before one is admitted to hospital.
It all depends on the case and the seriousness of the medical case.