Stop using abusive language: Health Officials and Workers, July 2010

Medical practitioners should desist from using abusive language when addressing patients as it
agitates and discourages them from seeking medical attention.

Recently, it was reported by the media that Morogoro regional authorities addressed complaints
raised by patients who stated that health officials and workers in various facilities in the region
have been using abusive language to patients. Morogoro Regional Commissioner Issa Machibya
told nurses and doctors at a meeting that he received a lot of complaints in his office concerning
health service delivery and mistreating of patients.

Abusive language is against health ethics and it shows unwillingness thereby making patients
failing to perform their work passionately with courtesy as the Health Client Service Charter
states. Health service providers often abstain from communicating with service users, but Sikika
reminds them that communication is vital for the health profession because it influences
productivity and outcomes. Ineffective communication contributes to lost time,
misunderstanding, strained relationships, and inhibits future communication. It is even more
critical because it is not numbers, buildings, or sale targets that are the ultimate goal; it is people,
patients and their health. Good, bad, or nonexistent communication has an impact on the patients.

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