Monday, 16 June 2008

Doctors given kit to deal with clinic violence

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says GPs are likely to face violence in the workplace, and has released a kit for doctors on how to deal with the problem.

AMA national president Rosanna Capolingua says between 55 and 64 per cent of GPs are exposed to violence in the workplace each year, and can be at risk of death.

She says the kit will provide information about keeping practices safe.

"Potentially patients when they're ill, vulnerable, may have mental illness, are stressed, are maybe using substances can become violent," she said.

"We just need to ensure the environment we're working in is safest for our patients, ourselves and our staff."

Dr Capolingua says violence against GPs can include assault, stalking, verbal abuse, sexual harassment and property damage.

"We've had a couple of instances, a GP was murdered in Victoria last year in her practice, a GP when was shot when on a housecall in Western Australia," she said.

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