DOCTORS are calling for a violent patient register to be set up in Spain to combat the growing number of attacks on medical staff.
A staggering 87 per cent of Spanish medics now believe it is necessary to have a register of violent patients.
And the unions have joined their demands for tighter sanctions against offenders with a zero tolerance policy towards aggression.
The president of the College of Physicians in Malaga, Juan José Sanchez Luque, announced the drive at Spain’s first National Day Against Aggression last month.
It comes after 215 assaults – both verbal and physical – were reported in health centres across Andalucia in the first two months of this year alone.
Sevilla is the province with the most attacks with a shocking 57 recorded, with Almeria at the bottom of the list with five complaints.
But many believe these figures are only the tip of the iceberg due to the number of violent incidents that go unreported.
According to many health professionals the attacks are often related to staff cuts and increased delays.
It comes after a patient attacked a doctor in Madrid with an axe last month.
Three health workers were left with serious scalp injuries and amputated fingers as they tried to defend themselves from a 40-year-old Moroccan believed to have mental health problems.
In La Coruña, doctors and nurses have taken practical steps to learn how to defend themselves against aggression.
The nursing union, SATSE has organised a personal defence course there.