Awareness among registered medical practitioners on legal aspects of workplace violence: a questionnaire-based study

AUTHORS : Jegadheeshwararaj J, Karthikeyan S, Jegan RS, Atteri S, Arvind S, Kirubanand S
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Background and aims: In recent years, violence against medical practitioners at workplaces has increased in India. Good knowledge and awareness on preventing and handling workplace violence at hospitals can help us mitigate such incidents. The study aimed to gauge the level of understanding and knowledge among medical practitioners on the legal aspects of violence against the medical profession. Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 451 randomly selected medical practitioners. The data was collected using a pretested Google form questionnaire after obtaining consent. The collected data was analysed by using Microsoft and SPSS software Version 24.0. Results: Out of 451 medical practitioners, 429(95%) were concerned about the prevailing violence against medical practitioners, 112(25%) were aware of the Medicare Service persons & Medicare services institutions Act. 198(44%) were aware of the various Indian Penal Codes (IPC) related to Hurt, Injury, and Assault, and 133(30%) were aware of the IPCs related to Defamation and Outraging the Modesty of a Woman. 75% of the participants showed hesitance in taking legal action due to inadequate knowledge of our Legal system. Conclusion: Most medical practitioners did not know the legal perspectives in handling violent outbreaks. A good medico-legal education needs to be included in the curriculum, which will help break the inhibitions to approach the Police and the Court of Law. A solid representation to implement or amend the existing legal system to protect the medical fraternity is required.

Keywords: Violence against medical professionals; Legal awareness; Acts; Indian Penal Codes.

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