Saturday, 21 July 2007

Increase in violence to doctors and nurses: MJA

There are some who argue that there has been a rise in domestic violence, in part due to a decline in standards within society generally, and others who argue that any rise is statistical: that there is an underlying rate and that all that has changed has been the reporting rate.

By comparison, doctors and nurses are certianly complaining about the rise of violence towards them, with a recent Medical Journal of Australia article stating that there has been an upsurge of violence by patients towards doctors and nurses, culminating with the murder of Dr Maroof-Hassan last year.

The article suggests a number of changes, including:

-Doctors need training to recognise and manage patients at risk of becoming perpetrators or victims of violent behaviour, both to protect themselves and to reduce violence in the wider community.

-A national taskforce on violence in medical practice should be established to monitor, evaluate, prevent, and reduce medical workplace violence.

-A national summit of all medical groups should be held to examine the increasing violence in Australian society as a public health issue.

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