29 January 2013

Zambia: RDAZ Slams Assault On Doctor

THE Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) has condemned the recent assault on a medical doctor by a parent at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).

In a statement signed by RDAZ secretary general Francis Mupeta said it was unfortunate that there were some members of the public that have turned to assaulting the already-strained medical personnel, who were working at saving the lives of patients.

Dr Mupeta cited the example of the recent physical assault of a paediatric doctor by a member of the public, who felt that the doctor's decision to attend to a more critically ill child over his who was already in a stable condition was unfair.

"As RDAZ, we condemn in the strongest terms such acts of violence by this assailant. I must reiterate that triaging of critically ill patients is a routine procedure in an emergency room and in this case, the doctor did not err professionally and morally," he said.

He said the action taken by the member of the public, who has only been identified as a Mr Mwila, was totally uncalled for.

Dr Mupeta said members of the public should be aware that doctors would always uphold professional conduct in the manner in which they carry out their duties, despite working under extremely difficult conditions.

"Members of the public should be aware that our doctors are highly competent and professional in their duties, despite working under extremely difficult conditions, therefore, if anyone has complaints against any of our members, there are channels to follow in such circumstances," he said.

"As an association, we shall not condone any harassment of our members in whichever way, whether verbal or physical and we shall pursue this and any similar incidence until justice is done," he added.

Dr Mupeta has also condemned harassment of medical personnel by some political figures, and advised politicians to appreciate the challenges under which health personnel operated.

He appealed to Government to protect health professionals against unwarranted attacks from both members of the public as well as interference from politicians.

He said failure by the Government or society to provide security for health personnel would call for drastic measures from his association.

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