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VietNamNews

Violence against Viet Nam's health workers seen growing

Update: November, 03/2015 - 09:23
In August, a female doctorwas slapped by her patient's mother at the Tan Phu Hospital in HCM City. — Photo vnexpress.net

HA NOI (VNS) — Violence against health workers by patients or patients' families in hospitals has seemed to increase recently, the online Voice of Vietnam (VoV) reported.

In August, a female doctor in Tan Phu Hospital in HCM City was slapped by her patient's mother. Although the woman later admitted to the assault, she refused to apologise the doctor.

In the same month, in a hospital in Thu Duc District, there was a fight between hospital security and a patient's family.

Late last month, a group of gangsters came to a general hospital in Quang Tri Province to fight with some patients and destroyed a lot of the hospital's equipment, VoV reported.

Violence has become so prevalent that doctors and health workers thought their workplaces weren't safe any more.

VoV reported that disruption, insults or attacks to health workers have occurred for many years. But the situation seemed to be getting worse. Health workers and the healthcare sector seem to have no response.

So far, no cases of violence against health workers have been brought to court by the workers or their employers.

Doctor Truong Huu Khanh, head of the Neurology Department at Paediatrics Hospital in HCM City said that "all hospitals should have measures to deal with violence against health workers".

"Violence should be reported to police", he said.

Angry with the situation, doctor Vo Xuan Son, who used to work in Cho Ray Hospital, set up a website chongbaohanhyte.com (Anti-violence against health workers) in April this year.

Through the website, doctor Son wanted health workers to raise their voice to protect themselves against violence on hospitals and clinics.

He also called on health workers to sign a petition of anti-violence in hospitals to send to the Health Ministry and Public Security Ministry.

According to Son, most doctors and nurses have reacted weakly against wrongdoing.

"In many cases where health workers were attacked or insulted their employers stayed silent", he said.

"Some victims were even punished by the hospitals' head. It is because the employers wanted to get rid of the trouble," the doctor said.

The victims will not be protected if don't raise their voice.

Some people thought that the violence came from the bad attitude of health workers to patients and patients' families.

However, the Ministry of Health reported that during the last nine months, only 4.5 per cent of 4.500 calls to the ministry's hotline complained about doctors and nurses' attitude, and 1.7 per cent of calls reported health workers asking for bribes.

Most of the calls complained about hospitals' degraded infrastructure and the healthcare sector's shortcomings, the ministry said.

However, health workers who are in direct contact with patients everyday suffered from patients and their families.

"Doing violence against health workers for any reason is not acceptable", said Doctor Tang Chi Thuong, head of HCM City's Health Department.

He called on the local government to intervene and asked hospitals to review their security situation.

"But an important thing is that every single health worker must strongly fight against the violence", Thuong said. — VNS

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