Nowadays, the world appears to be on a cliff edge. It has been very clear from the beginning of COVID-19 that the world has changed and now everyone has different perceptions. COVID-19 caused a tremendous amount of economic and political instability in most of the countries. Those who did not pay enough attention to non-traditional security factors lost both their values and economies. The health sector in the world played a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic. The most important part of living is to make your health sector more modern and up to date. Interestingly, doctors and staff, who play a huge role in the healthcare system, had a lot of difficulties. In contrast, there was extreme violence against doctors and paramedics during the COVID. According to reports, doctors who save lives have been attacked by the public just because of their wrong beliefs, denial of death by their families, mismatches in demand and supply, poor government policies, and misunderstandings about the media in regards to health issues. In the media, doctors are always blamed for deaths without the death being investigated by some health expert.
Despite the fact that every story has two ends, it is impossible to judge everyone by the story from only one perspective. There is violence against doctors and paramedics in many countries, but most of the instances come from Pakistan. Those who save the lives of thousands when there is no hope are treated so badly in their own country that they are reassembled with robbers and thieves. People have the wrong perceptions of doctors because they see a few of them as being involved in illegal activities that undermine the value and respect of their profession. As previously mentioned, we perceive things from just one perspective, rather than looking at them from multiple perspectives and making an actual, neutral judgment.
There have been some cases reported in Pakistan where the public has confronted paramedics and doctors in extremely stressful circumstances. In such a case, what happens? Almost everyone has some sense of confidence about their profession, and when you challenge that confidence by challenging them, this can be very unsettling. Thus, they lose control of their profession and could endanger their patients. Depressive disorders can cause doctors to attempt suicide because of psychological pressure.
The majority of the doctors were subjected to severe aggressions from the public, including sexual harassment, physical attacks, weaponry attacks, and property damage. During the Covid Pandemic many doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff faced verbal abuse, threats, and physical assaults despite their maximum efforts to deal with the disaster.
A few days back, the same thing happened in Azad Kashmir Rawalakot, where more than 20 attendants attacked and assaulted Dr. Rashid Naseem, who was a resident physician in the medicine department and looking after covid patients. An elderly woman who was diagnosed with “critical covid pneumonia complicated by lung fibrosis” has died after receiving indoor treatment for more than a month, blaming “doctors negligence.”
CMH Rawalakot, although initially headed by military command, is a combined hospital run by the Pak Army and government of AJK, where the incident occurred with the duty doctor nearly losing his life. Although he was beaten by attendants for more than half an hour, he was not rescued from the mob. Dr. Rashid Naseem suffered serious injuries and fractures to both his right leg bones near the ankle joint, which can be severe due to its close proximity to the joint. The incident was a major security breach and one of the most heinous acts against duty doctors in Pakistan during the current pandemic.
The district administration, however, was unable to respond to the incident due to pressure from trade unions and political parties.
The Young Doctors Organization (YDA) called for protests across AJK and called for a fair investigation, security breach, criminal prosecution, and arrest of all wrongdoers without political pressure.
The Doctors’ Organization has also called for legislation and a health security act to prevent violence against doctors and healthcare workers in Pakistan. Several experts agreed that there should be a law regarding media reporting, as every hospital’s death is reported as a result of medical negligence without official investigation or confirmation, leading to public anger and hatred toward hospitals.