Need to improve system for a safe workplace: Doctors
Healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses and paramedics working at government-run hospitals in the city say they don’t feel safe at their workplace.
“Of course, I don’t feel safe. Anyone can enter the hospital emergency or the consultation room and beat us up. The threat of violence is real,” said Dr Manish Nigam, a senior resident of surgery at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.
For this, an overburdened healthcare system is to blame.
“Nobody comes to the hospital thinking they will beat up people taking care of their relatives. The staff shortage puts a lot of pressure on all of us. The only solution is to improve the healthcare system; adding more security guards will only lead to more violence,” said nurse Leeladhar Ramchandani, who works at Delhi government’s super-speciality GB Pant Hospital.
In the last three years, the government has tried increasing the number of security guards in sensitive areas such as the emergency department, hiring bouncers and installing CCTV cameras. Hospitals have also started registering institutional FIRs under the Medicare Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage of Property) Act, 2008.
However, violence has not subsided.
A meta-analysis on violence against doctors recently published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that 75% of doctors have faced either physical or verbal violence at the workplace.
Dr Girish Tyagi, president of the Delhi Medical Association, said, “Young doctors take the brunt for the failure of administration in making facilities available – something as simple as not having a wheelchair where needed can tick people off and then on top of that if there are services unavailable, if the doctor is not able to spend time explaining to them, then there is violence. There is a need to increase healthcare funding.”