An oncologist at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center was attacked by one of her patients Wednesday in the latest of a series of incidents of violence against healthcare professionals.
A report on Channel 12 said the eight-month pregnant doctor was hospitalized after her patient, who is recovering from cancer, flew into a rage in the waiting room.
The altercation began when the oncologist told her patient she would be late for her appointment that day. When the doctor told her she would have to wait or see a different oncologist in the department, the woman became furious.
The patient, who is also pregnant, hit the doctor in the stomach and pushed her up against the wall, while shouting and cursing at her, the oncologist told Channel 12.
“She was enraged and looked really crazed,” she said. “She jumped out of her chair, and put both of her hands around my stomach and pushed me towards the wall.”
The doctor remained hospitalized on Thursday. She told Channel 12 there was concern her baby was hurt in the attack.
The patient was detained by hospital security and released after several hours of questioning. She was barred from the premises of the hospital for 30 days.
The attack at Rambam is the latest violent assault targeting heathcare workers in Israel. The issue gained prominence in 2017 after a man fatally set a nurse on fire at a medical clinic in Holon after receiving a flu shot that made him feel unwell.
According to a report issued by the Health Ministry later that year, there are more than 3,000 incidents of violence against medical staff per year, with only 11 percent of them reported to police. Only a small portion of that 11% are ever brought to trial.