Brief Hospital Strike Protests Violence

Surgeons around the country were on strike on Sunday, pushing off non-urgent operations in protest of increased hospital violence.

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Hillel Fendel,

Hospital scene
Hospital scene

Surgeons around the country were on strike on Sunday, pushing off non-urgent operations in protest of increased hospital violence.  The latest incident: the critical wounding of a surgeon by a disgruntled patient in Kaplan Hosital last week.

Dr. Marios Guy, a urological surgeon in Rehovot's hospital, has been listed in critical condition in Tel Aviv's Tel HaShomer Hospital for the past few days, with suspected paralysis of his left side.  Latest reports are that his condition has improved and he is "stable."  Whether he will ever again be able to perform surgery is still an open question.

The attacker, a 64-year-old man from Rehovot, turned himself into police shortly after he stabbed Dr. Guy with a screwdriver, and his custody has been extended at least until Monday. His ire was irked when he demanded, but did not receive, a certain medical procedure.

Dr. Guy, a 32-year veteran of Kaplan Hospital, is the husband of Dr. Nina Guy, the head of the hospital's psychiatric ward. She has said that her husband's greatest fear was of paralysis, and expressed as much even as he was being wheeled into the emergency ward. She said that neither he nor she could understand how the public could expect to be treated with compassion and professionalism by doctors who have to fear for their lives.

The entire staff of Kaplan struck for two hours on Thursday morning, cancelling all appointments and accepting only emergency cases.  Hospitals throughout the country followed suit for two hours on Sunday, in protest of what is seen as increasing violence against hospital staff.  Two weeks ago, a nurse in Kaplan was attacked, and a similar incident occurred two months ago.  Only in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv was there no strike, as the management informed staff that it was illegal.

Doctors and nurses demand that the public be made more aware of the dangers they face, and also expect increased police presence in hospitals. 

Dr. Ricardo Alfisi, head of the Surgery Department at Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, told Ynet that the shortage of surgeons in Israel has led to longer waiting periods for operations, increasing tensions and aggressions among the patients.






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