Violence against doctors: before and during the pandemic of COVID-19

Karpaga Priya, Vineet K. Pathak


Work-place violence has been on rise in recent years. Hospitals and medical fraternity are not spared of it either. Initially there were instances of such acts in hospitals only. The health care professionals are not spared even on fields as evidenced by recent attacks on frontline workers who are involved in contact tracing and screening amid Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV2). In order to find the different causes leading to violence against doctors and to recommend solutions for them, relevant articles published in last five years in English language from India were included. High patient load, lack of necessary facilities, insufficient number of trained staff are few of the drawbacks of our hospital setting. While long waiting hours, delays in referrals, high out of pocket expenditure are troubling issues from a patient’s perspective. In view of the rising pandemic, stigmatization, fear of isolation are few reasons giving rise to such events. In order to curb such workplace menace and to deliver health services at peace, there is a dire need for controlling such ruthlessness. The medical council, hospital administration, government and media, all have an indispensable role to make doctors feel safe and to furnish smooth services. Incorporation of critical communication in syllabus, increasing specialty seats for emergency medicine, strengthening pre-hospital services, changing the setup of emergency room are the need of the hour. With the recent amendment to Epidemic disease Act, 1897 offering protection to frontline workers, there is a light towards the end of tunnel.


Workplace violence, Doctors, COVID-19, Safe practice

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