Two associations representing doctors are calling for District Health Boards to better protect doctors working in emergency departments.
The call follows an incident in which a doctor working at the Waikato emergency department was beaten by a drunk patient on Saturday night.
Waikato DHB says the doctor remains shaken from the attack, which occurred while he was treating a 97-year-old woman in another cubicle.
Spokesperson for the Resident Doctors' Association Deborah Powell says the incident should not have happened and it is up to the DHBs to protect staff.
Chairperson of the Medical Association Peter Foley agrees that security must be increased to prevent such attacks.
Dr Foley says the profession does not want to have a situation in which doctors and nurses are too worried about drunks and people on drugs to do their work.