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Pregnant doctor assaulted in accident and emergency department of Malaga hospital

Pregnant doctor assaulted in accident and emergency department of Malaga hospital

The relative of a patient allegedly pushed and then tried to punch the medical professional who is 20-weeks pregnant

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Friday, 18 August 2023, 09:08

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A relative of a patient being treated in the accident and emergency department at Malaga's Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria allegedly pushed and then tried to punch a 20-week pregnant doctor.

Allegedly, the man hit the woman hard on the chest and then tried to throw a punch, but was restrained by another doctor on Monday 14 August about 10.45pm.

According to the Colegio de Médicos, the alleged aggressor was a patient's companion and then, tired of waiting, entered the doctor's consultation room without permission, raised his hand and threatened her. The pregnant doctor alerted security staff, who at the time were attending to another altercation allegedly provoked by six relatives of the same patient. They had allegedly entered the hospital without authorisation, started shouting and refused to leave.

Amid the chaos the alleged aggressor turned to the doctor who had alerted security and "hit her hard in the chest with both arms, throwing her backwards until she fell more than a metre", according to the Colegio de Médicos.

A colleague prevented the woman from falling to the ground. But, according to the organisation, the man "tried to hit her again with his right fist, but did not manage to do so because he was pinned down from behind by another doctor".

The Malaga Medical Union, which condemned the violence, said the perpetrator fled the scene. A complaint against the man has been filed.

It comes after the same doctor reported a verbal assault the previous day from another patient. A man had threatened her and made inappropriate and unpleasant comments, according to the College of Doctors. Sources said the doctor is in a good, physical condition, but is mentally affected by the two assaults, and has been recommended to rest at home.

Strong condemnation

"It has been a difficult summer and security in health centres needs to be reinforced. This time a breach has been detected in the access control to the hospital. This is something that cannot happen. We, doctors, must go to our place of work calm and safe," said Pedro J. Navarro, President of the College. Following the latest incidents, there have now been 22 assaults on doctors in 2023, the same number as the whole of 2022.

The Sindicato Médico de Málaga (SSM) also condemned the aggression, and called out the management of the Hospital Virgen de la Victoria. "If it does not have its own capacity and financial means to improve and preserve the safety of all the professionals in its centre, it should immediately request help from the police or the health authorities, who have been complicit in this negligence that has been going on for years," it said.

The union also criticised "the passive approach" of the hospital, since "it is the hospital in the province where the highest number of assaults on doctors take place, and the necessary measures are not being taken to protect professionals".

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