Australian Doctor Magazine 14 Jan 2005
Australian Dr Poll shows 1 in 12 GPs are physically attacked.
Drugs and alcohol  is a common factor but also another reason is GPs refusing to give patients scripts they demand.
With verbal abuse and property damage more than half of GPs and three quarters practice staff have experienced violence in  the work place 
One third of GPs admitted violence had affected their willingness to practice after hours and more had concerns about home visits
Australian Doctor Magazine SEP 2004
BEING threatened by a patient with a butcher’s knife should be enough to convince anyone that violence against GPs is a serious problem, but Dr Malcolm Ireland needs more proof.

Dr Ireland, a GP from Maitland in NSW, who also works part time for the Hunter Urban Division of General Practice, has been appointed to head up a University of Newcastle study into the extent of violence against GPs.

“I have personally had a patient pull a butcher’s knife on me in my surgery,” Dr Ireland said.

“My receptionist buzzed me and said that there was a patient in the waiting room with a knife. When I approached him he produced it and threatened me with it.”
Dr Ireland said the study would examine whether violence against GPs was widespread, or whether his experience was an isolated one. It would also look at the impact of violence on the availability of after-hours care by GPs.

There was a perception that many GPs did not provide after-hours services in their practice because of a fear of violence, Dr Ireland said.

The study, which is being funded by the NHMRC, will involve intense focus group interviews with GPs from the Hornsby, Canterbury, Maitland and Newcastle districts in NSW.

A questionnaire will also be sent out to GPs nationally early next year.

“We [GPs] can all think of situations where we have felt uncomfortable,” Dr Ireland said.

“I think it [violence against GPs] is more prevalent out there than we think, because we just don’t talk about it.”

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