violence-hospitals In a predominantly capitalistic society, health-care of the healthcare facilities is probably the only remaining profession in India, which still works (or at least is expected to work) on welfare model. This ensures a prioritized, cost-effective health-care delivery to practically entire population. However, violence against doctors (among other problems) is seriously threatening the status quo.

While violence on road (road rage), public places, even schools is common (though not condone-able), it can under no circumstance be acceptable in hospitals. The hospitals simply cannot be allowed to become battlegrounds for the simple reason that on one end sick people need a peaceful environment where they can get sympathy, empathy, support etc, on the other hand, even health-care professionals need a stable and peaceful environment if they are ever able to give self-less care rather than worry about their personal safety. Thus, if the hospital environment is exposed to violence its practitioners might start practicing defensive medicine and focusing on saving their own skin rather than treating a patient.

So what needs to be done? A three-pronged strategy:

By the Physicians:

Better communication is the key to this problem but also effective management strategy should be put in place, a definite damage control plan when violence seems imminent. The physicians should at all circumstance have an empathetic and sympathetic attitude especially during financial dealings, plus focus on giving a sense of security to patient and relatives. One important thing is to be very careful and mature in giving a second opinion.

By Hospital Administrators:

Reducing waiting times, displaying, revealing relevant information to relatives but at the same time restricting entry of relatives in clinical environment and strengthening security. Having a hospital committee (PRO) specializing in effective communication can also be useful.

By the Society:

Strengthening laws and even more important effective implementation of laws so that unauthorized personnel are not able to take laws in their own hands. Media also should play a constructive role.