We should all welcome the decision by the World Health Assembly to include work-related burnout as a problem that influences health status of an individual.
The decision was taken during the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
Burn-out has been included in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an occupational phenomenon. It is not classified as a medical condition. It is described in the chapter: ‘Factors influencing health status or contact with health services’, which includes reasons for which people contact health services but that are not classed as illnesses or health conditions.
Burn-out has been defined as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.
It is characterized by:
· Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
· Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and
· Reduced professional efficacy.
Burnout among physicians has been largely ignored by everyone for a long time.
Emotionally exhausted doctors are a danger to patients and a danger to themselves. The number of suicides among doctors resulting from burnout is a significant problem.
This World Health Assembly’s decision should lead to a new approach that addresses multiple factors including working conditions for doctors around the world’.
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India