Police arrest man suspected of attacking doctor with crowbar at clinic

Suspect in his 30s hits doctor over the head, wounding her moderately, amid complaints from medical staff nationwide of violence from patients and relatives

Doctors and nurses at the emergency room of Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, August 13, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Doctors and nurses at the emergency room of Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, August 13, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Police arrested a man who allegedly attacked and wounded a doctor with a crowbar in a community clinic in Be’er Yaakov Tuesday, underlining the threats and violence from disgruntled patients the medical community says it faces daily.

According to police, the suspect, a resident of the town in his 30s, went to the clinic earlier in the day for medical treatment.

While at the clinic he began to behave wildly. He refused to leave when asked by the doctor to do so, and instead grabbed a crowbar and hit her on the head.

She was moderately wounded and taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment.

The man was soon apprehended by police for interrogation and will be brought before a court Wednesday to have his custody extended.

Be’er Yaakov Mayor Nissim Gozlan condemned the incident and called for an end to the violence.

The suspect following his arrest. (Israel Police)

“I am shocked to the depths of my soul by a severe case of violence that occurred recently against a doctor at a community clinic,” he said. “We must not in any way accept violence and we must condemn such serious cases.”

Medical staff at hospitals and community clinics across Israel went on strike last month in response to recent incidents of violence against medical staff at a number of hospitals.

The Israel Medical Association, announcing the May 19 strike, called for a police presence in every emergency room, and said hospitals and community clinics needed improved security systems. The association also urged a change in legislation so that an attack on medical staff would be treated with the same severity as an attack on a uniformed police officer.

The May strike was called after family members of a patient who died at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem attacked medical staff and caused significant damage to the intensive care unit after they were informed of his death from an overdose.

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