Unhappy patient pours disinfectant on nurse, throws punches

Meuhedet staff filed a complaint with the area police station.

 Violence strikes Meuhedet Health Services in Israel. (photo credit: MEUHEDET)
Violence strikes Meuhedet Health Services in Israel.
(photo credit: MEUHEDET)

A patient who arrived at a Meuhedet Health Services clinic in Rishon Lezion on Friday afternoon without an appointment became enraged at staff when she did not receive the help she wanted.

According to Meuhedet, the 60-year-old female patient threw a bottle at one of the nurses who tried to help her and also poured disinfectant on the nurse. Then, she hit another nurse in the chest and threw punches at yet a third service provider.

Eventually, the health fund said, security personnel arrived to deal with the woman and held her until Israel Police arrived and evacuated her from the scene.

Meuhedet staff filed a complaint with the police.

“Meuhedet condemns any violence against medical staff,” the fund said in a statement, “and sends best wishes for a speedy recovery to the staff injured during the incident.”

 Violence strikes Meuhedet Health Services in Israel. (credit: MEUHEDET) Violence strikes Meuhedet Health Services in Israel. (credit: MEUHEDET)

The event took place after a particularly challenging week for medical personnel, which included three reported incidents of violence at hospitals nationwide.

A massive brawl broke out last Sunday night between two clans in the parking lot of Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, during which guns were fired. Four people were injured and 10 were arrested, the hospital and Israel Police said. It took about an hour from the start of the incident until police managed to restore calm to the area.

Then, on Monday, Rambam Health Care Campus security was forced to call in police after nearly 100 clan and family members attempted to force their way into the hospital’s emergency room, where a victim of criminal violence had been brought for treatment.

The next day, an angry mob gathered outside Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, where two shooting victims were being treated, one of whom later succumbed to his wounds.

The crowd thronged to the hospital from a nearby funeral at a cemetery in Jaljulya, where gunfire had broken out between the parties. The families managed to push past security guards and enter the facility until police arrived and restored order.

The country has seen a spike in violence since the coronavirus pandemic began, including in the country’s emergency rooms and health clinics.

There were 252 violent attacks against healthcare workers between January and October, the Health Ministry said, including 115 threats and 121 acts of verbal violence. In addition, there have so far been 4,621 incidents of disruption of order.