by Linda Straker
- A&E doctor struck with wheelchair by disruptive person in waiting area
- Doctor sustained injuries and rendered unfit for work
- Action will be taken to increase the safety and security of staff and those seeking A&E services
Health Minister Nickolas Steele has confirmed that an investigation into the physical assault of a male medical doctor while he was on duty in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the General Hospital, has begun.
“I don’t have the in-depth details, but I am aware of the matter and can confirm that an investigation is presently being done by the police and the hospital management,” said Steele.
The assault was reported to have happened on Wednesday, when a woman seeking medical assistance got tired of waiting, and of seeing persons who arrived after her, receiving medical attention.
Public Information Officer in the Ministry of Health, Keville Frederick said that A&E staff was dealing with an emergency that arrived after the accused, but the woman felt that she need to be attended to because she had arrived first. “The staff had already determined that her condition was not a life-threatening medical emergency based on our triaging protocol,” he said.
The accused then became very disruptive, picked up a wheelchair in the waiting area and assaulted the doctor by striking him in his back. “The doctor sustained injuries and was rendered unfit for work, and is now on sick leave,” Frederick said.
As a result, Frederick said that immediate action would be taken to increase the safety and security of staff and those seeking the services of the Accident and Emergency Department. “As you will realise, this action endangered the lives of both staff and the other persons awaiting care, and action is being taken immediately to increase the security measures,” he said.
The accused left the hospital compound after assaulting the doctor. The police are yet to detain the accused or file charges.