Doctor is attacked as violence against medics continues

May 11, 2012, Friday/ 15:11:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Amidst ongoing violence against healthcare providers in hospitals across Turkey, a deputy chief physician was assaulted on Thursday in İstanbul by an angry patient wielding a bread knife. The doctor sustained no injuries.

Reports said Ertan Ü, who suffers from a pinched nerve, had been receiving treatment over a long period of time at İstanbul's Sultanbeyli State Hospital. The patient reportedly filed a complaint against his doctor at the hospital's patients' rights unit, accusing his doctor of failing to treat him properly.

When no criminal action was taken against the doctor, Ertan Ü. went to see the chief physician of the hospital, Süleyman Erdoğdu, to criticize the hospital's handling of the complaint he made against the doctor.

Meanwhile, deputy chief physician Berk Onuk, who was in the room, tried to calm the patient down. The patient then flew into a rage and attempted to stab Onuk with a bread knife he had brought with him. The doctor, who sustained no injuries during the attack, was saved from the hands of the angry patient by hospital security staff. Ertan Ü. was detained by police after the incident.

İstanbul Provincial Health Directorate head Ali İhsan Dokucu condemned the attack and ordered lawyers from the directorate to take legal action against the patient, the Anatolia news agency reported. Dokucu called Onuk after the incident to wish him a speedy recovery and stated that violence against healthcare providers is unacceptable under any circumstances.

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