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Health News of Tuesday, 10 January 2023


Report lists 345 attacks on doctors

Doctors Doctors

No fewer than 345 incidents of violence against Nigerian doctors were reported in 2022, The PUNCH reports.

This is according to the report on “Workplace Violence against Doctors” obtained exclusively by The PUNCH from the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors.

According to the report, 74 per cent of the attacks required medical attention, and 15 per cent were life-threatening.

“Reasons that were given for the attacks: 65 per cent due to patient loss (death), 56 per cent due to patients not being attended to promptly (workload), 41 per cent due to poor communication (workload), 28 per cent due to inadequate security and surveillance, 26 per cent due to lack of facilities and drugs, 24 per cent due to patient intake capacity being overwhelmed, and 23 per cent due to the personality of the perpetrator,” the report read in part.

Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behaviour that occurs at the work site.

According to the World Health Organisation, between eight per cent and 38 per cent of health workers suffer physical violence at some point in their careers.

The WHO said most violence is perpetrated by patients and visitors.

Speaking with The PUNCH on the issue, NARD President, Emeka Orji, said violence against healthcare workers is on the rise in the country.

He said, “We feel that this will continue to increase if the government does not take action to stop it.

“A lot of Nigerians are frustrated; a lot of medical personnel are leaving in droves; and patients do not understand what we are suffering and why it cannot work. When you have one doctor doing the work of 100 doctors, you will not be able to give your best, and patients will put frustration on you.

“Even if a patient or relative is worried about the treatment they have received, there are laid-down rules for seeking redress; you do not take laws into your hands.

“Then we have complained severally that most of our hospitals do not have enough security arrangements. It has come to a time when the government has to hold the Chief Medical Directors accountable for any violence against their staff because we have made suggestions on what to do.”

The PUNCH reports that on December 31, 2022, gunmen assassinated Dr. Uyi Iluobe at his hospital, the Olive Clinic, in Oghara, Delta State.

Similarly, The PUNCH reported that an angry father and son attacked a medical doctor and a nurse at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, after losing a family member.