By Dil Bola
Rabat – Three members of a patient’s family have attacked hospital staff at Mohammed V Hospital in El Jadida, vandalizing medical equipment.
The latest in frequent and prevalent attacks on health professionals occurred in the coastal town of El Jadida, 100 kilometers southwest of Casablanca, on Thursday night.
The family members were visiting a 16-year-old girl who had been admitted to the emergency department unconscious, according to a statement made by the emergency department.
After examining the patient and determining she was stable, the department transferred the teenager to intensive care for more tests. During the visiting hours allocated by the hospital, three relatives of the patient not only assaulted staff members but also vandalized the room, including various pieces of medical equipment.
Security guards intervened after one staff member’s shoulder was dislocated while nurses and a maid were under continuous assault. Sources told Lematin that guards attempted to “calm the aggressors” but came under attacked as well.
The normal operations of the hospital were hindered, and other patients were endangered by the climate of panic. When police arrived, they apprehended one of the attackers and recorded evidence of the damage to open an investigation determining who was responsible.
It is not the first time hospital staff have been attacked. A 2010 analysis on violence within emergency departments in Morocco published by the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology revealed the prevalence of such attacks. Although abuse is primarily exhibited verbally, physical violence remains significant specifically within emergency services departments.
“Delay of consultation or care” is the primary cause of violence, according to the data released by the study. Acute drunkenness and neuropsychiatric disease have been allotted as the secondary, yet significant, causes of violence exhibited towards health professionals.
The El Jadida incident prompted the Ministry of Health to release an official statement Friday condemning such acts. The ministry reiterated that the destruction of biomedical material and the endangerment of staff creates a climate of fear and panic which affects the essential services of the emergency department.
The actions have been deemed “irresponsible” by the Ministry of Health, which affirmed its support for staff members who are frequent victims of attacks. The department has reassured the public they will take the necessary steps not only to prosecute the perpetrators but to eliminate such attacks, taking a zero tolerance stance toward all actions harming health professionals.