THE EDITOR, Madam:
In light of what took place at the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC), it is without question that occurrences such as the clash between Kari Douglas and a doctor are not uncommon. A colleague of mine, a medical doctor, showed me some horrifying posts on social media by members of the public issuing death threats to healthcare staff.
As healthcare workers, especially those in A&E, as well as those in essential services, we face patients and visitors alike who behave in ways mirroring that which is displayed at the BHC on a regular basis. Along with the doctors, many other members of staff are verbally and physically abused and it goes unnoticed, or over time, swept under the carpet. It is sad to realise that this is what it took for steps to be taken to resolve these issues.
STAFF NEED TO REPORT ABUSE
Most of these facilities, hospitals and health centres are not equipped with armed security to effectively deal with those who come and behave in a violent and abusive manner, with the intent to intimidate staff. Threats are frequent and almost all the workers I know personally, as well as myself, can recount being threatened or verbally abused by some of those who come for service.
There are systems in place for patients to report staff, and that is good. But, there is none that I am aware of for staff to report cases of abuse of this nature and for something to be done about it.
It’s good to see that this matter is finally being taken more seriously by those in positions of the authority to do something about it.