There were more than 2,500 incidents of physical and verbal violence in hospitals this year, but fewer than half of the victims complained, according to Health Ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu, speaking at a meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee on Monday.
Gamzu said that many doctors and nurses are afraid to complain against attackers -- or else they avoid doing so because they think nothing will come of it.
Committee chairman MK Ronnie Bar-On called on the police to regard such attacks seriously, as if they were against policemen. He called on the authorities not to close files on such complaints due to "lack of public interest."
He noted that the public does not have more interest in defending workers that provide service such as social workers and local authorities than of medical staffers.
Gamzu said there is a direct connection between the lack of medical infrastructures such as inadequate manpower, overcrowding and lack of equipment and violence. "Every incident in a health fund clinic or a hospital is reported [to us]. But not all of those who were harmed file a police complaint. Most of the attacks are verbal, but there is no decline in attacks in recent years."