Author`s name Ольга Савка

Patients attack and beat doctors at Russian hospitals

Doctors from Russia's Ulyanovsk ask local authorities for help

The doctors in the Russian city of Ulyanovsk are raising the alarm. Not only they are  paid peanuts for their work, they seem to be running the highest occupational risks in town. The patients have been beating up the doctors in Ulyanovsk's hospitals on a regular basis. The personnel of one of the hospital emergency rooms were the first to lose their patience. Three doctors and two nurses suffered abuse from the patients of that room over a short period of time. You just can not treat the patients because they are often under the influence and ready to insult you verbally or use their fists at first opportunity.

The doctors had to call on the deputies of the city parliament. They requested the deputies to take urgent measures so that armed guards might be constantly available on hospital premises. They also requested that an alarm system with an emergency button for calling the police should be installed. Deputies discussed the issues at a special meeting of the committee for health and social development of the Ulyanovsk parliament. However, the problem boils down to money which is too tight to mention. Monthly costs of an emergency button alarm system amount to 10,000 rubles. The city authorities say they have no such sum in their coffers. The deputies finally decided that the doctors would have to cover the costs of their security by paying with the money charged for paid medical services.

At the end of the day, the local doctors have to look after themselves. “Time and again I can hear another patient stirring up trouble in the casualty ward so I come out of my office and tell him to behave,” says one of the doctors. “Some people calm down while others come to blows in no time and sometimes I have to fight back,” says he.

The police assign their personnel to ambulance crews in some parts of Russia to protect doctors from violent patients. The doctors working for emergency medical aid units say that an experienced dispatcher can usually tell which of the calls is a threat to the doctors. Meanwhile, the police for hire is out of the question for Ulyanovsk doctors due to lack of funds in the city budget. So the doctors had better learn some self-defense skills. 

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