Nahariya hospital protests attack on surgeon

Orthopedic surgeon was punched in the face by the wife of a patient who was in the queue to undergo surgery.

March 25, 2009 20:00
1 minute read.

health operation surgery 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Doctors at Nahariya's Western Galilee Government Hospital held workers' assemblies on Wednesday, a day after an orthopedic surgeon was punched in the face by the wife of a patient who was in the queue to undergo the surgical removal of his foot. Such incidents of physical or verbal violence against medical staffers occur at an average of about one per day, and last year - in the most serious incident in many years - a patient stabbed a Kaplan Medical Center urologist in the chest, almost killing him. The police arrived to question witnesses and the doctor was examined in the emergency room for a minor injury. The assailant had demanded to know when her husband would undergo surgery. The doctor, who had seven more operations to do this week, said he didn't know, adding that the patient would have to wait for his turn. As a result of the incident, almost all the elective operations he had to do were postponed as the hospital looked for a replacement. Dr. Shlomo Arieli, secretary-general of the government hospital doctors union, reiterated the frequent demand by physicians and hospital directors that uniformed policemen, instead of an inadequate number of security guards, guard hospital facilities that suffer from frequent violence such as emergency rooms. However, the Israel Police has long said it can't afford to supply the manpower and the Health Ministry has insisted it cannot provide the budget even in just the government-owned hospitals.

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