Violence Against Healthcare Facilities and Personnel is a Global Trend

2022 was the worst year for acts of violence against healthcare workers.

By Mackenna Moralez, Associate Editor

It is no secret that there has been a rise in violence against healthcare facilities workers over the last few years. However, the issue has now gone global. A survey by Critical Care Medicine found that 25 percent of healthcare workers were willing to quit their jobs because of these challenges.  

The uptick in violence isn’t going away anytime soon, unfortunately. A report from the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition found that 2022 was the worst year for acts of violence against healthcare facilities and personnel on a global level. 

Nearly 2,000 acts of violence occurred in 32 countries and territories in 2022, a 45 percent increase compared to the previous year. Violent acts included: 

  • Deliberate targeting of health facilities with explosive weapons 
  • Destroying and looting hospitals and clinics 
  • Killing, kidnapping and threatening healthcare workers 
  • Deliberate obstruction of patients’ access to healthcare. 

Over 230 healthcare workers were killed across 26 countries in 2022, according to the report. This includes, 78 in Ukraine, 27 in Myanmar, 26 in Afghanistan, 11 in Sudan. Ten healthcare workers were also killed in the DRC, South Sudan and Syria, respectively. 

The report recommends the following actions for the International Criminal Court, United Nations Security Council and World Health Organization: 

  • End Impunity 
  • Strengthen Prevention 
  • Reform and expand the collection of data on attacks on healthcare 
  • Strengthen global, regional and domestic leadership 
  • Support healthcare workers 

Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor for the facilities market.  

June 20, 2023

Topic Area: Safety

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