Madrid (EFE).- Attacks on the medical profession in Spain break their record in 2022 with 843 reported cases, 38% more than the previous year and a doctor attacked every ten hours, according to data from the Observatory Against Aggressions that also reveal an increase in physical injuries in the face of insults and threats.
Of these attacks, 61% are received by doctors, consolidating the trend of recent years in which women suffer most of the harassment, while Primary Care also continues to accumulate the highest number, 43%. , followed by hospitals and emergencies, according to what has been exposed in the first European day of attacks on health personnel.
At a press conference, the general secretary of the General Council of Medical Colleges (CGCOM), José María Rodríguez, has warned of an increase in attacks on the youngest members (less than 35 years of age) who already represent a quarter of those attacked (25.4%).
The report presented highlights that nine out of ten attacks occur in the public sphere and Primary Care remains in the lead although it drops eight points compared to 2021.
Hospitals are behind, which rise five points and are in second place with 27%, followed by hospital emergencies that accumulate 9% and Primary Care emergencies, with a similar percentage, 8%.
Physical attacks on the rise
Insults and humiliation represent the majority of attacks, but those that end with physical injuries rebound, increasing by 3% compared to 2021.
Of all the attacks received and communicated to the medical associations, 16% ended in sick leave, three points more than the previous year and 95.1% occurred during work hours and environment.
Insults and threats represent 84% of the cases and 16% result in physical injuries, with medical injuries being the most affected in 56%.
Most attacks are due to discrepancies with care
21% of the attacks are related to structural issues, in 64.3% it is due to delays in the time to be attended, in 24.9% to the malfunction of the center and in 11.7% due to protocols covid.
Within the care causes, the main reason, in 53%, are discrepancies with the care received and in 13.8% personal differences with the doctor. In addition, 12.4% of the aggressors do so because they have not been prescribed what they wanted and 10% because of reports that do not conform to their claims.
The aggressor: scheduled patients between the ages of 40 and 60
The profile of the aggressor is maintained. 48% are scheduled patients, 28% unscheduled and 22% accompanying persons.
By age, 50.9% of the aggressors are between 40 and 60 years old, 37.3% under 40 and 11.8% over 60.
And by sex, female aggressors are the majority, more than 51% when it comes to the age range of 40 to 60 years and represent 43% in those under 40, while men account for 68% in the case of the older aggressors, with more than 60 years.
The report also offers the evolution of the attacks since 2010 when there were 451 complaints. Since then, communications have fluctuated and the highest peak occurred in 2022, with 843, and in 2019, with 677. In contrast, the year with the fewest attacks was 2015 (with 344).
The data presented emanates from the communications that doctors who have suffered an attack send to their schools and are recorded by the CGCOM National Observatory, which has recorded a total of 6,492 cases since 2010.
European delegates from medical schools in France, Portugal and Italy also participated in the event. The vice president of the European Council of Medical Orders (CEOM), Nicolino D’Autilia, recalled that 75% of attacks are not reported and has called for zero tolerance in the workplace, a safety plan and an integrated approach to put an end to this scourge
In Portugal, the international delegate of the Ordem dos Médicos Filipa Lança has insisted on prevention to mitigate the consequences and rehabilitate the aggressors.
With figures similar to Spain, although a little higher, is France, which registers between 800 and 900 cases annually, with a very slight difference between men and women, although general practitioners are repeated as those who accumulate the most vexations, has reported the CNOM delegate for European affairs, Philippe Cathala, who has insisted that this is the “tip of the iceberg” because the majority do not denounce it.