Phyllis De Gois, a proud United Voice member for almost forty years, and theatre technician at Royal Perth Hospital says the proposed changes to security at public hospitals is vital to keeping staff and patients out of harmful and violent situations.
On Sunday 1st January Mark McGowan announced new measures which would bring a heightened level of safety to frontline security staff at major public hospitals.
In response to a growing number of attacks on security and nursing staff in hospitals, Mr McGowan has promised that under a Labor State Government, security personnel would be supplied with protective anti-stab vests and personal mobile duress alarms.
The rising number of patients coming in to hospitals under the influence of drugs and alcohol, which reached a monumental 38 per month in 2015, means that staff face a constant risk of danger in their workplace.
As a public healthcare worker, Ms De Gois said these incidents are not rare occurrences.
“I work in the theatre so for us, outsiders can’t come in freely, and we are in an enclosed and safe area.
“In the emergency areas, there are people that just come in and out; nurses, doctors, even cleaners get kicked upon,” said Ms De Gois.
However, Mr McGowan’s proposed changes understand it is not only the staff that are put at risk in volatile situations like New Year’s Eve, but patients too.
“Patients who come to hospital for medical help, as well as staff, should not be put at risk of being attacked from other patients and visitors.
“Our major public hospitals should be places that are safe for all staff and focus on delivering quality patient care.”
Ms De Gois agreed, saying “it’s not only staff but any patients sitting there, there is a danger to them when people are violent and aggressive.”
Premier Barnett has dismissed the added safety precautions, deeming them unnecessary and “totally inappropriate.”