Coronavirus vaccinations evoke a lot of emotions. Attacks on doctors are evidence. Some of them experienced physical and verbal aggression. This attack and hate for some – as in the case of Jadwiga – poured out a cup of bitterness. She decided to take a radical step, which was to quit the profession. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
The doctor’s decision to quit the profession will be understood by anyone who has experienced physical or verbal aggression at least once in their life – only for telling the truth. – I’ve dealt with various people, but I’ve never felt such fear – admits Jadwga Kłapa-Zarecka.
In the spring, a woman stormed the GP’s office and attacked her shouting slogans proclaimed by opponents of COVID-19 vaccines. She said that Jadwiga Kłapa-Zarecka was a murderer, that she was getting rich in a pandemic and that she was harming people. She didn’t let her move. The doctor was pregnant, which she lost a few days later. She did not return to work anymore.
– In Poland, you are entitled to eight weeks of maternity leave after a situation like mine. I started to think what would happen if I had four months left to live for some reason, what would I do at that point? My first thought was: not to be a doctor – says Jadwiga Kłapa-Zarecka.
Doctors attacked verbally and physically
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Poland at the beginning of last year, doctors say that they face hate on the Internet more often than before, which more often than before turns into physical aggression. This was the case of Jadwiga Kłapa-Zarecka, who, before leaving the profession, was attacked by vaccine opponents at home and at work, and posted photos of her family on the Internet.
It turned out that among his friends he had anti-vaccines who took an active part in hating her. The doctor was infected with the coronavirus by a patient who, in a telephone interview, concealed his high fever from her. She paid for it with myocarditis, chest pains and hepatitis.
– When I asked, when I called him later because I was still taking care of this patient, I said that it was very irresponsible on his part to make him aware of it. He didn’t say sorry, but he was a bit confused – the woman recalls.
More and more doctors are considering leaving the profession because of seizures
Not this situation, but many months of verbal and physical attacks, led the doctor to resign from her profession. Jadwiga Kłapa Zarecka did not report the attacks to the police for fear. There are more such doctors.
– I admit that cases of leaving the profession are more and more frequent on internet forums, and there is a very frequent discussion in which doctors simply write: I’m fed up, I’m afraid – confirms Łukasz Jankowski from the District Medical Chamber in Warsaw.
The problem of aggression against medics became high-profile this summer when vaccination points were attacked, threatening their workers. The Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, announced then measures to prevent attacks and to punish the guilty.
– I have seen many times how my colleagues, my colleagues, health care workers reported these matters. They were redeemed. If I were to report all these matters to law enforcement agencies, I would really have to give up my profession, emphasizes Dr. Bartosz Fiałek, a rheumatologist.
Doctor under police protection due to threats
Two months ago, Adam Niedzielski asked the minister of justice, inter alia, for data on discontinued and initiated proceedings after notifications of violence and threats submitted by medics. Neither the Ministry of Health nor the Ministry of Justice replied to the journalists’ question about the answer to the minister’s request, which referred reporters to the National Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Meanwhile, the case of a doctor from Lodz shows that reporting verbal aggression and hate on the Internet to law enforcement agencies can have an effect. – An investigation has been initiated, I was placed under police protection, also at the request of not only the prosecutor’s office – says doctor of the Department of Lung Diseases of the University Teaching Hospital in Łódź, Dr. Tomasz Karauda.