Frontline hospital and health staff continue to be ignored by the Labor Government, with a petition signed by more than 500 residents calling on the Government to encourage doctors, nurses and paramedics to report assault falling on deaf ears.
Member for Mudgeeraba, Ros Bates MP, a registered nurse who launched the petition, said the response from Health Minister Cameron Dick was simply not good enough.
“Every day, our healthcare professionals, including our nurses, go to work thinking being assaulted is just a part of the job,” said Ms Bates.
“The former LNP Government passed new laws through our Safe Night Out Strategy that increased the maximum penalty for assaulting health staff to 14 years in jail and ensured being drunk or on drugs at the time of an offence could not bring about a more lenient sentence.
“Unfortunately, too many nurses are still failing to report instances of assault.
“That is why I launched my petition which urges the Labor Government to launch an awareness campaign within the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service so nurses know that any form of assault, including biting, spitting, or throwing of bodily fluids is a serious offence which should be reported.
“Whilst Cameron Dick has launched another series of reviews in the Occupational Violence and Paramedic Safety Taskforces, tried to teach nurses self-defence and launched a million dollar bumper sticker campaign, these efforts do not encourage nurses to report assaults.
“Cameron Dick has blatantly ignored the safety of our nurses, doctors and paramedics and the pleas of hundreds of concerned Queenslanders, hiding behind his talking points and more Labor reviews.
“I call on the Labor Government to immediately review this decision and launch an awareness campaign before more violence takes place.”