In 2022, a total of 843 cases of assaults on doctors were reported in Spain, a figure that reaches a historical high, representing a 38% increase compared to the previous year (231 more). Every ten hours a healthcare professional is assaulted with insults, threats or injuries.
The data of Observatory against Aggressions of the General Council of Medical Associations reveal that of the total number of assaults on doctors reported in 2022, 61% are female doctors and a quarter of those affected, 25.4%, are the youngest members (under 35).
Of the total assaults, 47% were insults and harassment, 37% threats and coercion and 16% injuries. Of the injuries, 73% are mental and 27% are physical.
Since this Observatory was launched, in 2010, and until last year, a total of 6,492 assaults have been registered. The main reason: discrepancies with the medical care received.
Primary Care, more assaults
The healthcare area where professionals receive the most assaults is Primary Care, with 43%, 8 points less than in 2021, followed by hospitals with 27%, 5 points more than in the previous year.
The report presented highlights that 9 out of 10 assaults take place in the public sphere (89%) and 95.1% during working hours. 91% take place face-to-face and 9% by telephone or electronically.
By autonomous communities, of the total number of attacks reported last year, 843, Catalonia recorded the highest number (380); followed by Andalusia (117) and at a distance from Madrid (67). Those that have suffered the fewest attacks are Melilla, La Rioja and Navarra, with 2 each, and Ceuta with 3.
Types of assaults on doctors in 2022
47% of assaults were insults or harassment (8 points more than in 2021), 37% threats and coercion (9 points less than in 2021) and 16% injuries (3 points more than in 2021). Most of the attacks were suffered by medics.
Care causes of assaults
The causes of the attacks were assistance in 79% of cases and structural by 21%.
Of the assistancethese were the reasons:
- Discrepancies with the medical assistance received: 53.2%
- Personal discrepancies: 13.8%
- Not prescribing what was proposed by the patient: 12.4%
- In relation to temporary disability: 10.6%
- Reports not in agreement with their claims: 9.9%
As for the causes structural:
- Time to be served: 64.3%
- Malfunctioning of the center: 24.09%
- Related to covid-19: 11.7%
Typology of aggressors
48% of the attackers are patients who had a scheduled consultation, the same figure as in 2021.
50.9% of the aggressors were between 40 and 60 years old; 37.3% were under 40 and 11.8% over 60.
By sex, female aggressors are more than 51% in the 40 to 60 age group and represent 43% of those under 40, while men account for 68% in the case of older aggressors, with more 60 years old
According to the report of the Observatorio Contra les Agressions of the General Council of Medical Colleges (CGCOM), support or advice to affected doctors by the company has been increasing since 2010, 32 points percentages in 2022, reaching 67%.