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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE IN THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR

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Writer: Ada İlyada UTKUCU

Workplace violence is one of the major issues that people struggle with around the world. When providing a safety environment in health sector, right to health of the people can be performed in a proper way. In order to implement a violence-free workplace in the health sector, it is necessary to consider the explanation and types of this problem, see the statistics, inform about current law and make proposals to solve.

To begin with definition of workplace violence, European Commission states that workplace violence means that acts where staff are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances linked to their work, including commuting to and from work, involving an direct or indirect challenge to their safety, well-being or health. In the health sector, there are certain types of violence: sexual assault and abuse, physical violence, racial harassment, sexual harassment, threats and psychological violence. Notably, physical violence and psychological violence as main type of violence’s which are originated from culture, gender and discrimination as a dimension.[1]

When looking at numbers in Turkey and in the World, Pınar et al. (2015) shows that the percentage of health workers who faced with workplace violence in Turkey in the last 12 months was 44.7%.[2] According to WHO (World Heath Organization), health workers face with high risk of violence around the world. Also, with reference to research made by WHO, between 8% and 38% of health workers can experience physical violence in their profession.[3]

An equally significant aspect of law made by Grand National Assembly in Turkey, law no 3359 is a law that regulates health services as a fundamental law. In 2020 a proposed law includes a regulation on increasing the punishment of violent crimes against healthcare workers and this proposed law was accepted and added as additional article 12 in law no 3359. [4]

Also, precautions can be taken by governments, employers and workers. As employers, they can provide utilisation of social dialogue, combating workplace violence by the manager, possibility of giving feedbacks by workers and a clear policy statement that guarantees violence-free working environment with if necessary, alarm systems and surveillance cameras can be part, so on. As workers, they can make informing sessions, group training related to workplace violence. As government, they can make regulations on precautions, according to WHO, explaining the obligations and rights of patients, relatives and friends, ought to be compiled, distributed, displayed, and applied sanctions in response to violence against personnel, should be made known, so on.[5]

In conclusion, proposals can be made regarding Turkish law under this essay; regulations in the laws should try to provide a deterrence related to violence in workplace, such as additional article 12 which has a big impact. However, for example, even while struggling COVID-19 epidemic, it is continuing to receive news of violence from many health institutions directed at health workers. So, it should be known that the problem is structural and cannot be eliminated only by increasing the penalty.

Bu makalede yer alan fikirler yazara aittir ve Case’in editöryel politikasını yansıtmayabilir.
Bu yazı ilk kez 22 Nisan 2021’de yayımlanmıştır.

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Framework Guidelines for Addressing Workplace Violence in the Healthcare Sector, International Labour Office ILO International Council of Nurses ICN World Health Organization WHO, Public Services International PSI Joint Programme on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector Geneva, 2002.

Law no 3359, The Basic Law on Healthcare, 1987.

Workplace Violence and Harassment: a European Picture, European Risk Observatory Report, European Agency for Safety and Health At Work,2010.

Violence and Injury Prevention, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/workplace/en/ .

Workplace Violence in the Health Sector in Turkey: A National Study, Tevfik Pınar et al., 2015.

[1] Workplace Violence and Harassment: a European Picture, European Risk Observatory Report, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work,2010.

[2] Workplace Violence in the Health Sector in Turkey: A National Study, Tevfik Pınar et al., 2015

[3] Violence and Injury Prevention, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/workplace/en/

[4] Law no 3359, The Basic Law on Healthcare, 1987.

[5] Framework Guidelines for Addressing Workplace Violence in the Healthcare Sector, International Labour Office ILO International Council of Nurses ICN World Health Organization WHO, Public Services International PSI Joint Programme on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector Geneva, 2002.

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