The doctors and panellist of esteemed members as responsible fellow professional shared the forum and discussed this grave topic of workplace harassment in the medical field, its existence, its impact and precautionary measures to avoid any further adversities.
The event started with the question of Existence of workplace harassment; Is it there? Or we still in denial? – to which all the Panellist agreed for its bitter existence.
The event was graced Dr. S.D Banavali, Academic Director Tata Memorial Hospital along with Dr Shubhangi Parkar, Head of Department, Psychiatry KEM Hospital, Dr Aniruddha Malgaonkar, Assistant Prof, dept of community medicine, Ragiv Gandhi Medical College and Dr Sagar Mundada, Ex-central MARD President (16), Consultant Psychiatrist.
Dr Shubhangi Parkar enlightened us by saying that it can be an intolerance to something which can be labelled as harassment, but it all depends on human behaviour how we perceive and but it is not justified. She said that there is an ethical code of conduct which we have to follow while working.
But she also said there should be zero tolerance to any form of harassment. She also pointed out on poor communication skills amongst doctor-doctor, doctor-patient which is a ground reality and base for such behaviour. Also commenting on administration’s role, she said “Active intervention, conflict management and Transparency”, will help to reduce such losses.
Dr S.D. Banavali evoked us by saying Hierarchy is the key to all the problems and it should be seized off. He also commented on existing workload that can transfer all frustration amongst each other (passing it senior-junior level).On asking about administration’s role when such a complaint is made about harassment, he remarked that, without a single thought the complaint should be addressed and action should be taken at the same time. Efforts should be made to be insightful into the situation and to create buffer zones.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Shripad Banavali, Academic Director Tata Memorial Hospital further said, “Doctors have an immense workload. If doctors are harassed then the only way to resolve this is through communication. They should be effective communication between doctors, nurses and ward boys. The hospital is a team. A team can function only through proper communication. If there is good communication, then cases of harassment can be curbed.”
Dr Aniruddha Malgaonkar, excellently explained how his college has almost zero level of such harassment, organising Patient Relative Meeting with unit heads and residents to strong the bond amongst them. To address every issue of resident as an important one and focus on improving the communication amongst each other.
He also suggested that monthly department should ask the resident to fill the performance perform a once in 6 months, we should give “certificate of appreciation” to the resident for doing meticulous and skilled work (counting points on his/her communication skills). He stated the fact that “Prevention (do not let it happen) , Prohibition (by addressing the issue by administration), Redressal (taking actions)” these three forms the pillar for stopping such grave incidences. He also advised to start mentorship for residents.
Dr Sagar Mundada, spoke frankly regarding the actual problems being faced by the residents, the ground reality and need for working hours fixation to up to 12hours cycle rather than current 24-36-48 hours cycle, because at the end patient will be suffering when residents are exhausted and to be honest patients are suffering.
He also raised up to stop the unnecessarily overburdening of Juniors. Work should be distributed equally amongst all. Also, the periodic mental health check-up of the doctors (which during his Presidentship in Central MARD 2016 they tried to propose it but yet not implemented anywhere) should be noted by current MARD and should be in effect soon with cooperation from administration.
The entire panel discussion was fruitful and all the panellist, audience interacted and participated actively in the discussion. The need for such discussion is to focus on “What we can do as a Team, to stop such workplace harassment.”