Belgium’s National Medical Association has expressed dismay at the alarming incidence of violence against health professionals following the stabbing of a general practitioner in Forest on Thursday morning.
The association said in a communique that its first thoughts were “with the victim, who is now fighting for his life, and his family” and expressed its increasing concern at the violence perpetrated by patients. It is unacceptable that those who “provide the population with health care cannot do so without fearing for their safety,” it said.
On the 21st of May, the medical association, in consultation with the relevant authorities, created a focal point on the Internet, www.ordomedic.be, where health professionals are encouraged to report any form of aggression or fear of aggression. The move followed a spate of incidents reported by individual doctors and warnings by groups of general practitioners. Consultations with workplaces and authorities revealed at the time that the scattered data available on attacks was not enough to draw up an adequate strategic plan.
Reporting attacks on the website should alleviate the lack of precise data on the characteristics and nature of the violence against health professionals. Based on the analysis of the data collected, a strategic plan is now being developed with the relevant authorities in order to provide adequate support to doctors as they carry out their mission.