The BMA in Northern Ireland expressed alarm that attacks on healthcare workers in the Belfast Trust had increased by 35%.
A BMA spokeswoman said, "We are horrified to learn that despite the ongoing work to reinforce the message that attacks on healthcare workers are totally unacceptable, the number of both verbal and physical assaults continues to rise.
Advertisement"While attacks have increased overall, doctors and nurses in the Belfast Trust in particular are bearing the brunt of such attacks.
"This is unacceptable. Not only do doctors suffer the effect of such attacks, but patients are directly affected when their doctor has to take time off to recover. In addition, money, which could be spent on improving patient care, is diverted to tackling assaults".
Harder hitting measures are needed to stop these attacks, including new legislation to introduce a specific offence of assault on a healthcare worker.
Better recording of figures is needed to identify when and where attacks take place to enable the police and Trusts to work together.
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