The demonstration on Monday at the Jesús Cautivo Health Centre in Malaga. / DONOSO

Attacks on health staff return to pre-pandemic levels

A demonstration was called in Malaga after a woman doctor attending an emergency was allegedly slapped in the face by a male patient

SUSANA ZAMORA

A demonstration was held by health workers after a doctor attending an emergency was allegedly slapped in the face by a male patient.

The attack on the female doctor from the Malaga-Guadalhorce Health District happened on Friday, 22 July.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Trinidad-Jesús Cautivo Health Centre, on Monday to show their disgust at the latest incident.

José Becerra, vice-president of the Malaga Medical Union (SMM), said such assaults are on the increase.

"Unfortunately, almost every week we call a demonstration for a new aggression. Often they are underestimated because they are verbal, but we have to be aware that there may be a next time and then it may be physical. We have to report it, because the number of cases is increasing all the time", Becerra said.

This is confirmed by the records of assaults on health workers in the Malaga-Guadalhorce health district, where assaults on health workers are rising to pre-pandemic levels. To date this year they have risen to 38 assaults (six physical).

Enrique Vargas, director of the Malaga-Guadalhorce health district, confirms the upward trend. "There is a portion of the population that takes their dissatisfaction out on us, when we are not to blame. There is no justification whatsoever; we are the least to blame when what we do is lend our help," Vargas said at the demonstration.

"Unfortunately, we are seeing that these aggressors are more emboldened against female health workers, whom they insult and intimidate", Vargas added.

The Malaga Medical College, also condemned the attacks, and said it had reported 17 assaults on doctors this year.

"The last aggression was a fortnight ago. We will be very vigilant because, unfortunately, in summer we tend to detect an increase in assaults. We need more security in health centres and public awareness campaigns. I said it recently and I stress it again: our doctors cannot go to work in an unsafe environment," warned college president, Pedro Navarro.