Wednesday, 3 January 2024, 16:09
Assaults on doctors have almost doubled in just one year in Malaga, and its mainly female medics who have been affected, according to new figures.
A total of 38 assaults were recorded in 2023, compared to 22 in the previous year, according to data from the College of Doctors. It is the second worst figure since the professional association started recording annual assaults, which was in 2019 when 45 incidents occurred.
Of the 38 assaults, 30 were against women, according to the data. A total of 31 victims suffered psychological trauma; the rest suffered physical injuries. Four medics took sick leave following assaults. All of the assaults happened in the public health system, according to the College of Doctors. Men aged 35 and over were responsible for 22 of the 38 attacks, the data showed.
However, data from the Medical Union, recorded 29 assaults in 2023, compared to the 14 recorded the year prior. But this only accounted for assaults that occurred between January to November, and not the three attacks that happened in December.
Secretary of the medical association and psychiatrist, Dr José Miguel Peña Andreu, said the figure is only "the tip of the iceberg". "The number of assaults is increasing and it is to be expected that they will continue to grow," Andreu said.
"The College is using promotional campaigns, it has lawyers on call... and word of mouth is being very effective. Instead of going to the police (or only to the police) they are now coming to the College to report attacks," he added.
"There is a general problem with the crisis in the health system. Among the incidents causing violence, one of the most frequent is the time it takes to receive care, which is increasing because of the crisis," Andreu pointed out. He said improving access to healthcare and reducing waiting times would improve the situation.
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