Pediatric Crisis: Malicious Complaints and Medical Staff Struggles

Recently, pediatricians’ struggles have become a social issue. In particular, the issue of malicious complaints has become a major topic of discussion. Let’s take a look at the background and reality of these issues, and where we’re headed.

baby laying on bed

Pediatric malicious complaints on the rise

On the August 14 broadcast of KBS JOY’s “Ask Me Anything,” Lee Ju-yeon, a professor of pediatric surgery at University Hospital, shared her struggles with malicious complaints. “There are actually more pediatric practices that have closed than opened in the last year,” he said, noting that many hospitals are struggling to run their emergency departments. He also noted that malicious complaints are on the rise.

“These days, the babies are you, so even if something goes wrong, they’ll make malicious complaints. I actually love what I’m doing, but I’m not sure if I can continue to do it.”

Difficulty communicating with patients

Dr. Lee explained that since babies cannot speak, a full examination is required, which makes the consultation time longer. He also noted that doctors are faced with a first-time situation when they receive a complaint from a patient’s guardian, which can result in a lawsuit.

“I admitted a patient for surgery, but he needed another transitional surgery that could have been done separately, and I got a lot of complaints after consulting with him. I get criticized for helping them,” said some malicious complainers.

Society must protect pediatrics

“I understand that mothers and fathers want to protect their children because they are so precious and valuable, but it’s time to protect pediatrics,” said Seo. Soo Geun Lee thanked Professor Lee, referring to the phrase, “One bad word I wrote can put a pediatrician out of business.”

The pediatric crisis is more than just a problem. The problems associated with malicious complaints go beyond the pain points of healthcare workers and require social empathy. It’s time for us as a society to come together to save pediatrics.

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