Online Program

Violence against health care: The scope of the problem and what needs to be done

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Susannah Sirkin, MA, Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, MA
Attacks on health care services are a global phenomenon.  A review of attacks and interference with health care through searches of media reports, governmental and UN agency publications, NGO reports, and others sources revealed that attacks and interference with health care services occurred in 20 countries from January 2014 through March 2015.  Conduct included targeted attacks on hospitals and clinics, attacks that failed to discriminate between military targets and health facilities, attacks on and obstruction of the passage of ambulances, harassment, arrest, killing and torturing of medical personnel, and attacks on patients. Additionally in many instances patients could not gain access to health care because of pervasive insecurity.  In order to address the problem, pragmatic steps toward greater security of health care is warranted, but other steps need to be taken at the national and international level.  These include a) strengthening norms; b) systematic data collection on attacks on health care; c) monitoring and reporting of incidents; d) accountability.  The presentation will review the status of initiatives to achieve these objectives.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe global problem of violence against health care Describe strategies to address the problem of violence against health care

Keyword(s): War, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have spent many years reporting on and researching the problem
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.