Violence against doctors is unacceptable but creating a positive communication channel with patients is key

Patients must understand that doctors are also humans and not Gods who can save lives under every adverse circumstance
healthy soch
New Delhi, 17 April 2019:

In a recent directive issued by the Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of NCT of Delhi, HODs of hospitals or medical institutions will file FIR against any incidents of abuse or violence by patients or their attendants. As per the directive, no individuals, be it hospital staff or doctors can file the FIR. It will be incumbent on the MS/Director of the institution to ensure that FIR is registered immediately in such cases and any non-compliance will be dealt with seriously.

A recent survey by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) revealed that nearly 75% of doctors in India have faced some form of violence or threat of violence at some point in their careers. In several states, doctors have frequently gone on strike demanding stringent punishments for those who attack doctors. Others have written articles highlighting the need for better security and surveillance at hospitals.

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Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The doctor-patient relationship is facing turbulent times these days. Trust forms the foundation of this relationship and determines the outcome. However, this trust has corroded over the last few years and must be restored urgently, as it is crucial to the survival of this very important relationship. The doctor-patient relationship too needs CPR to revive it. And, it is revivable, just as a dying person or a clinical dead person can be revived by CPR.”

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal said, “There are three types of doctors: those who expect patients to accept what they say without questions; those who give choices to patients; and those who take time and help the patients in taking a decision. This is the discord and the number one cause of miscommunication and disputes. While the types of patients have changed very rapidly from ignorant to enlightened, doctors are still in the first phase, where they feel that they don’t need to spend time with the patient.”

The first principle required for a better doctor-patient relationship is to understand that I need to spend time with the patient, explain, reason out and review.

‘ALERT’ is a concept that every doctor and patient must remember.

  • Acknowledge: When the patient enters your office, greet him/her by name and introduce yourself or your staff who would be involved in patient care.
  • Listen to your patient.
  • Explain to the patient about the disease.
  • Review the information given with the patient to make sure that they have been understood correctly.
  • Thank you: This is most important. Doctors must thank their patients for giving an opportunity to serve.

healthysoch

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