“The fear is great, that it will not end in murder”: The medical staff fear for their lives

A doctor sprayed pepper spray yesterday with a patient at the psychiatric hospital in Be’er Sheva. Following this, she was evacuated for further medical treatment at Soroka Hospital in the city. The Medical Association opened a 24-hour strike last week, in protest of the violent incidents at Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem and the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

There is a severe feeling of helplessness and fear in the hospitals. Some have pointed out the differences between government hospitals, some of which at least have an active police station, and those of a general health fund or which are not under the wings of the state. The requirement is to increase security in all hospitals.
It is also criticized that after indictments have already been filed against the attackers, the punishments imposed on them after procrastination and many years – are ridiculous. These are usually minor fines and service jobs. “The attacks are escalating and the fear is great. I very much hope that it will not end in murder,” a senior medical official told Maariv yesterday.

Dr. Uri Leventhal, a psychiatrist and chairman of the staff committee at the Be’er Sheva Psychiatric Hospital, said: “Physicians and medical staff must not continue to experience severe violence and physical and mental harm in the workplace. “We are only at a constant risk. We have just finished a one-day warning strike, and we are already getting up this morning for a serious attack by a doctor, whose only ‘sin’ is to treat patients optimally.”

Dr. Zeev Feldman, director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Unit at Sheba Hospital and chairman of the State Physicians Association, said, “This wave of violence must stop immediately. The Israeli government must hold an emergency hearing in the wave of severe violence in the health care system. “To the hospitals and clinics to carry out their mission of providing appropriate treatment to the citizens of Israel – and will find themselves under attack with severe physical and verbal violence.”

By Editor

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