Police say that attacks on medical staff must stop as yet another assault has ocurred in the A&E department of HUC, when a man started insulting and then threatening staff, finally attacking them with an “electric weapon”. Hospital staff say these attacks are on the increase as underfunding and understaffing results in frustration and long waits for patients. They call for active security on duty specifically in A&E as well as in the rest of the hospital since assaults on medical staff here now measure in the hundreds every year.
Medical staff say that they deserve respect for their professionalism, and that security will simply have to be stepped up for their own protection, while the police ask the public to understand they are dealing with qualified medical staff when they attend a hospital, and that these deserve to be treated with the same consideration as professionals in any other field … and that apart from these human considerations, such aggravated assaults are not just uncivilized but actually criminal.
The latest assault on medical staff took place around half past ten on Thursday evening with the man frustrated at his wait taking out what appears to be a kind of taser (a “dispositivo de descargas eléctricas”). Thankfully no injuries have been reported, and security personnel, summoned by a panic button, picked the man up as he was trying to leave the hospital. He was dealt with by the Policía Nacional.