Doctors urge action on violence against medical personnel

Doctors urge action on violence against medical personnel

Doctors urge action on violence against medical personnel

Doctors protest an attack against one of their collegue in Istanbul. AA photo

Doctors gathered May 7 to call on the government to act against violence against medical personnel, after a doctor at Istanbul’s Cerrahpaşa Medicine Faculty was beaten by the relatives of a patient in a recent incident.

The doctor in question was unable to conduct an ultrasound on the patient because the hospital’s equipment was broken. Relatives of the patient in return responded bitterly to the doctor’s refusal, and allegedly beat the doctor, according to a joint statement issued by doctors, read by Cerrahpaşa Dean Dr. Özgün Enver. 

Enver said such acts traumatized medical personnel. “We cannot perform medical duties properly this way. Police officers are waiting at the door from the morning hours. Should a hospital always be protected by police?” he said.

The crowd chanted slogans accusing the government of remaining silent on the issue, and called on officials to act against the violence. 

No security camera footage of the recent incident exists, and the doctor is now under observation, the statement also said. 

Turkish health workers have been waging a war against violence against doctors for nearly a year now, spurred by the murder of Ersin Arslan at the hands of his patient’s relatives in the southern province of Gaziantep. Thousands of health workers did not attend to their medical duties on April 17, marking the one year anniversary of Arslan’s murder, as a Parliament commission released a report containing recommendations on how to prevent violence against health workers.

Arslan was stabbed to death by the relatives of a patient he had been treating on April 17, 2012.