More than eight out of 10 Israelis have personally heard of or witnessed violence against doctors, according to a survey released by the Israel Medical Association, which two weeks ago asked the High Court of Justice to force the Health Ministry to take serious action against the phenomenon. Fully 92 percent of those questioned in the Omnibus poll said the ministry had not done enough to prepare medical staffers for violence by patients or their relatives. Three-quarters of those polled said that more severe punishments must be taken against those who are violent, while 68% advocated laws that would set a minimum period of imprisonment for those who are physically violent in the hospitals or clinics. The Health Ministry has said the Israel Police and courts should take action, but the IMA wants the government to spend more money on security guards, equipment and other means necessary to deter hooligans from threatening or attacking doctors and nurses. Less than two months ago, a senior urologist at Kaplan Medical Center was stabbed in several places, including the spine, by a patient who was not satisfied with plans for his treatment and demanded surgery that the doctors said was not necessary. The physician, Dr. Marius Gai, is still undergoing slow rehabilitation.