The Ministry of Healthcare inked a Memorandum of Cooperation with the National Police of Ukraine to ensure safety of healthcare workers, who may encounter the hazards of occupational violence while performing their duties at work.
543 crimes against the life and health of healthcare workers were registered in Ukraine during 2013-2017. Three doctors died. In 2017, there were 152 reported cases, where doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers became victims of occupational violence. However, the majority of incidents involving violence or aggression at work go unreported, as most healthcare workers prefer not to inform the law enforcement agencies due to lack of time, money for legal aid, etc.
This Memorandum is the first step towards establishing close cooperation between the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine and the National Police of Ukraine, which is aimed at developing a range of mechanisms for managing the risks of occupational violence to healthcare workers, and ensuring protection of medical staff in clearly hazardous situations.
Currently, experts are working on the following measures:
- the introduction of a 'buddy system' – security escort services or related types of assistance provided by police officers to healthcare workers in potentially dangerous situations. The Police may be contacted at any point during the process to ensure a safe environment for the provision of medical assistance and health care to patients and to eliminate threats in the circumstances where the safety of medical staff is at risk;
- the introduction of individual criminal liability for unlawful acts against healthcare workers: various acts of violence and aggression committed in the course of the provision of medical assistance and health care, including physical assaults and threats, violence to life and person, taking hostage, etc.
On October 1, the Ministry will host a working meeting to discuss the implementation of the initial practical steps.