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21 June, 2021

Zero tolerance for healthcare staff abuse

Oakey Police have reaffirmed their commitment to zero tolerance for people who abuse or threaten health care staff following an incident at the Oakey Hospital.

Oakey Police said they will not tolerate people abusing or threatening staff and other patients at the Oakey Hospital.

Oakey Police Senior Constable Ken Cahill said police were called to the Hospital on Thursday June 10, following reports of a woman causing a disturbance at the facility.

“Police will allege the woman caused a disturbance and became abusive to the Doctor and nursing staff,” Senior Constable Cahill said.

“The woman was removed from the hospital where she continued kicking at the hospital doors and behaving in a generally disorderly and threatening manner.

“Police will further allege the woman assaulted a 13-years-old girl who was attending the hospital.”

Senior Constable Cahill said the woman was “well affected” by alcohol but this was not excuse for her behaviour to hospital staff.

He said police arrested the woman and she was taken to Toowoomba Watch House where she was given strict bail conditions.

Senior Constable Cahill said the 54-years-old Oakey woman was charged with assault and public nuisance and will appear at the Oakey Magistrate’s Court at a later date.

He said Oakey Police will not hesitate to deal with individuals who abuse or threaten health care workers or seek to disturb them while they are doing their job.

“Police will continue to show zero tolerance towards abuse and violence directed at health care professionals,” Senior Constable Cahill said.

“Offenders will be dealt with through the Courts.”

A spokesperson for Darling Downs Health confirmed that the incident occurred and said safety of staff is a priority for the organisation.

“The matter is now before the courts therefore we can not provide any more information,” the spokesperson said.

“The safety and well-being of our staff and patients is always our priority. 

“We have a zero-tolerance approach to physical, verbal or threatened violence.

“Staff receive training in how to respond appropriately to patients or visitors who are verbally or physically abusive.”

A person who assaults a health care worker - or any other public officer - can receive a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

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