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Domestic Violence Against Doctors: Here To Serve Not To Suffer

Violence against doctors has been on the rise in India in recent years. According to the Indian Medical Association, 75% of doctors in India have encountered violence at some point in their careers. In the age of mass media and telecommunications, the number continues to rise, necessitating deeper analysis that raises awareness.

Sometimes doctors do not reports cases of verbal abuse because they appreciate the severity of the condition the patient is in or patient's relatives and the stress they are undergoing. When treating patients amid a stressful situation, health workers are more likely to be injured.

Doctors and healthcare staff face violence in the form of verbal threats, physical assaults, or telephonic assaults from relatives of patients and violent spectators, mostly in the waiting area, rooms, clinics, and occasionally in ICU or operating rooms. Due to these tense situations, Doctors are frequently led into depression, fear, and insomnia, loss of job and thoughts of suicide, and they occasionally regret their profession. After their constant efforts during the patient's difficulty and are criticised and are never appreciated of their efforts, and they are left with the words 'ALL FOR MONEY.’

Why domestic violence on doctors?

Unfortunately, law and order and law enforcement are extremely poor in our country. Doctors are overburdened; In fact, the ratio of doctors to patients is the lowest in the world. Patients should understand that doctors are unable to spend a little extra time with patients and explain the patient in proper way. Laws are oblique and not clear so the culprit get away without any punishment and continues committing same crime which leads to no fear in them.

Increasing intolerance and restlessness, especially in youth, and lack of civic sense in public. Insensitive and uncontrolled electronic and social media leading to the propagation of false accusations and negative image creation of doctor. People believe that more money will save their lives. Society should recognise that death and disease are to be expected and are not always the result of incompetence. All of this violence stems from a lack of healthcare literacy.

Sometimes doctors do not perform to the standards expected of them; overtreatment leads to pricey therapies, which leads to harassment, or under treatment which is accompanied by violence. In Private hospital, doctors has fixed target of everyday, so they are not able to focus on the patient which are in critical conditions. People of every culture religion or caste are involved in the violence. There is visible transparency about the commission doctors get. People are prescribed large amount of medicine intake, despite the fact that the need is smaller than the actual recommendation. Generic drugs are accessible for 2-5 rs, whereas they prescribe the medicine which are overpriced.

Solutions
Society has a critical role to play in understanding the condition of doctors rather than only seeing one side of the story. Doctors are not treated fairly. There should be media coverage because when a female is wronged, there are rallies and the news is saturated, but when doctors are involved in violence, there is no such attention. Vandalism and violence against doctors and hospitals should be punishable by law. People who take the law into their own hands should be barred from hospitals and heavily penalised.

Society has the misperception that every death is the result of a doctor's failure. Overcharging in hospitals frequently enrages people. Violence against doctors should be equated with violence against government personnel on the job. To avoid both violence and legal action, doctors should avoid treating patients outside of their training and facilities. Relatives should not be given false or unrealistic assurances.

The law should be changed to prevent future violence

It includes the following measures to be taken in case of violence:
  1. An announcement over the hospital's public address system stating the location of the violence, both at the commencement and after it has ended.
  2. Security staff to respond immediately
  3. All the staff (except that of ICU and OT) to come to aid, and form a human chain using restraint
  4. A senior member of staff not involved in treatment may try to communicate with the patient’s relatives and try de-escalating the situation
  5. This drill should be practised at least once a month in every medical facility.

Every doctor must have indemnity insurance. While any miss happening in the hospital the individual assigned to collect images and video recordings in the hospital should do so. The security or police should be informed immediately, and personal protective measures should be immediately enabled. Doctors should avoid ‘settling’ the issue by waving off the bills or paying hush money .The importance of trust between doctors and patients cannot be overstated.

The paramedical force will assist the doctor in providing patient counselling, which will create jobs.

To ensure that doctors work with devotion and dedication, there is an urgent need to rekindle the trust between doctors and patients, and ensuring a safe workplace environment. Despite many measure like strick medical negligence laws in India, doctors are teetering on the brink of a major silent crisis amidst covid-19 pandemic. Written By: Disha Bohra, 4th Semester BBA.LL.B. Student Of United World School Of Law, Karnavati University.

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