Violence against doctors shows no decline, more arrests

SAFURE CANTÜRK
SABAH
Published 27.11.2015 22:09

Violence toward doctors and medical staff in Turkey is on the rise. Doctors were the victims of 37,000 instances of violence in the past three years, according to official figures. No significant drop in these numbers has been seen in 2014 and 2015 in cases of violence involving doctors and patients or, in most cases, relatives of patients.

There have been more than 10,000 assault lawsuits filed by doctors and in 3,266 of those cases, the perpetrators were convicted with courts handing down heftier sentences without taking them to trial, which resulted in the release of some perpetrators on probation, specifically those involving non-fatal attacks.

The government plans to install X-ray scanners and assign police to local hospitals in response to the increasing violence.

Currently, security in hospitals is provided by private, unarmed security guards who have been proven powerless to stop attackers. Labor unions representing medical personnel have proposed a radical measure to tackle the violence and deter angry visitors from attacking people inside hospitals. They called for the implementation of the new regulations that would ban anyone convicted of committing a violent crime against staff from receiving social security benefits for six months.

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