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Violence against doctors: a jump of 23% in 2022

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The Doctors’ Safety Observatory, led by the Council of the Order, has published the figures for 2022 for violence against doctors. The survey points to a record increase in assaults while only 31% of victims file a complaint.

We learned on Tuesday, May 23, of the death of a nurse attacked with a knife the day before at the CHU de Reims. On the same day, the Doctors’ Safety Observatory publishes its annual report. In 2022, violence against doctors jumped by 23% compared to 2021. Physical and verbal violence, harassment, threats… this is a record increase in attacks since the creation of the Observatory in 2002, by the National Council of the Order of Physicians. Each year, on average, 841 doctors are victims of violence. Last year there were 1,244.

The Observatory’s investigation is based on the declarations of incidents and attacks by doctors made to the departmental councils of the order of doctors. Among them, only 31% of them filed a complaint, 8% filed a handrail.

56% of victims are women

The first regions concerned are Hauts-de-France (233 attacks), followed by Ile-de-France (176) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (139). 71% of doctors assaulted are general practitioners. “The National Council of the Order of Physicians is aware of a significant under-reporting of the violence of which doctors are victims, in particular those practicing in public and private healthcare establishments.“, is it specified by the Observatory.

The majority of victims are women (56%), while they represented 53% of victims in 2021. In 58% of cases, the assault is committed by a patient, in 18% of cases by a person accompanying the patient .

Regarding the type of violence, 73% of attacks are verbal attacks and threats. 10% are thefts or attempted thefts, 7% are physical assaults, 7% acts of vandalism.

73% of violence in the context of city medicine

A third of the violence is linked to care, 20% to refusal of a prescription, 11% to falsification of documents, 10% to a waiting time deemed too long and 9% to theft. They take place for three quarters of them within the framework of an exercise of city medicine, for 23% of them in a care establishment. Another noteworthy piece of information is that 6% of violence leads to a work stoppage.

The Observatory recalls that the public authorities have a role in protecting caregivers and a supporting role. “doctors in their steps after the commission of this violence”. He also reminds us that the safety of doctors is everyone’s business: “Fully aware of these growing problems of insecurity, the national council asks that we all act, collectively, to prevent this violence among doctors and all caregivers”.

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