Nachman Ash slams recent attack on doctor as ‘shocking’

Health Department director-general Nachman Ash on Wednesday slammed recent violence against healthcare providers, a day after a doctor was violently assaulted by a patient at a community clinic.

“There is a general climate of violence that encourages bloodshed by healthcare providers, and without cause,” Mr Ash told the news site. janet. “A doctor was busy and couldn’t see a patient, so the patient came into the room with an iron bar and repeatedly hit him on the head and other body parts.

“I spoke to the doctor and she seems very lucky that it ended up like this [et que ce ne soit pas pire] “, he added.

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“It’s just shocking and this violent speech and behavior needs to stop. »

Ash also linked repeated incidents of violence against healthcare providers to the anti-vaccine rhetoric that has gained momentum during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The connection is there because any discourse that promotes violence ultimately leads to violence. These are two aspects that we have not wanted to link up to now,” said Mr Ash. “Violence against [fonctionnaires] is one side of the problem, that of the healthcare provider is another. But everything is connected. »

A number of high-ranking officials and doctors have been insulted and threatened by anti-vaccination groups. Especially dr. Sharon Alroy-Price, Director of Public Services at the Department of Health and senior government COVID adviser, who has been repeatedly threatened by anti-vaccination campaigners and conspiracy theorists who see her as the public face of Health’s immunization effort.

Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash speaks during a meeting at Sheba Hospital in Ramat Gan October 24, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Ash pointed out that while plans to station police officers in hospitals have recently been announced, housing in community clinics is more problematic.

“It’s really a lot more complicated than that. And I would like to add that even the presence of the police in the hospitals will not solve everything. It is impossible to put a police officer in every clinic – that is clear. I believe the key is punishment as a deterrent,” Mr Ash said.

Rescuers protest outside Hadassah Hospital on the Mount Scopus campus following the recent violent attack on medical workers, May 19, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Ash’s comment came as the suspect in the attack on a doctor in downtown Beer Yaakov appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday. The police are investigating him for attempted murder.

According to public broadcaster Kan, the court was told the suspect allegedly attacked the doctor with a meat tenderizer.

Police say the suspect, a townsman in his 30s, went to the clinic for medical treatment. While in the clinic, he began to act wildly. At the doctor’s request, he refused to leave, instead grabbing a gun and hitting her on the head.

The slightly injured doctor was taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment. The man was arrested by the police shortly afterwards.

Tuesday’s attack is the latest in a string of violent attacks at hospitals and clinics in recent months.

The intensive care unit at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, damaged by family members of a deceased patient, May 16, 2022. (Hadassah spokesman)

After the latest attack, the doctors’ union announced that staff at public hospitals and clinics would take a two-day break in protest at the violence against rescue workers and operate all day over the weekend, with reduced services on Thursday and Friday.

“We have made it clear for a year that we will not tolerate any act of violence,” Professor Zion Hagay, president of the Israel Medical Association, said on Tuesday.

“The last strike led to an important decision by the government to put police in the emergency room and provide the necessary manpower, but we just need to focus on how things are being implemented on the ground. Until concrete action is taken immediately, we will step up our actions until someone here wakes up and understands that healthcare violence is a real epidemic,” he said.

The nurses’ union announced on Wednesday that it would join the strike.

The upcoming strike is the second initiated by the doctors’ union in recent weeks. Industrial action was sparked last month after family members of a patient who died in a Jerusalem hospital attacked medical workers and caused extensive damage in an intensive care unit after learning of his death.

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