November 12, 2022

WMA urges physicians to report inappropriate working conditions, violence

WMA decries violence against health workers worldwide 

World Medical Association

By Chioma Obinna

Worried about the working conditions of medical doctors across the world, the World Medical Association has urged  physicians all over the world to report any form of inappropriate working conditions and violence against them to the appropriate authorities and National Medical Association..

Making  the calll during the Annual Assembly of the Swedish Medical Association held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, the President, WMA, Dr Osahon Enabilele, also urged physicians to ensure their welfare, wellbeing and working conditions are given top priority even as they carry out their responsibilities.

Addressing Swedish Physicians, Osahon who assessed the Health System challenges faced in various parts of the world, said the WMA will continue to advocate for the strengthening of health systems across the world.

 “The lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic shows that unless and until the healthcare systems are strengthened, physicians may not be able to provide the best of care to patients.

“So, it is incumbent on us to continuosly charge governments all over the world to strengthen their health systems and provide enabling working conditions for physicians and other members of the health workforce.

“Tied to that is what we have seen across the world, increasing cases of violence against physicians. We’ve seen across the world a tendency by physicians to get discouraged, to lose confidence in the system as a result of the disabling working conditions they find themselves, as a result of the violence against them either by patients or patients’ relatives.

“This observations and experiences informed the recent revision of the international code of medical ethics by the WMA.

I charge all of you to find space and time to go through the revised code, as it seeks to provide some solutions to some of the contending challenges that we all face in today’s world.

“The code appropriately obligates physicians to report cases of violence and acts of abuse against them, and to report inappropriate working conditions they find themselves.

“The code also obligates physicians to look after their well-being, health and abilities, and to seek care when necessary.”

According to the WMA boss, physicians across the world should stop working in inappropriate and indecent working conditions. In his words,”an ill physician or a physician delivering care in indecent working conditions or other constraining circumstances, can not deliver quality patient care, the same way an ill President,Prime Minister or Political Leader cannot deliver quality leadership to the prople.”

He also called for the encouragement of young doctors in the profession, many of whom were getting dissatisfied with the profession.

“A lot of young doctors feel discouraged and disappointed, but it is our responsibility to offer hope to all cadres of doctors in the profession, and that is what the WMA is committed to doing.”

“I charge you today to please study the revised international code of medical ethics and the physician’s pledge, as they contain important solutions to the challenges confronting us.”