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Hospital alarm following near-fatal attack


Doctors are pushing for upgraded security in public hospitals following a near-fatal attack on neurosurgeon Dr Michael Wong last month.
AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis has called on the Victorian Government to consider giving emergency department staff personal duress alarms, and to ensure hospitals have sufficient funds to employ properly trained security guards, install closed circuit security cameras and build behavioural assessment rooms.
Dr Parnis told The Age he had raised the issue of health worker safety during a meeting with Victorian Health Minister David Davis and Attorney-General Robert Clarke on 7 February, and he encouraged them to consider tougher penalties for people who attack any health professional in the course of their work.
The issue has claimed fresh urgency after the brutal attack on Dr Wong, who was stabbed repeatedly during a frenzied attack in the foyer of the Western Hospital, Footscray.
Dr Wong was attacked as he entered the hospital to begin work for the day, and suffered life-threatening injuries from multiple stab wounds.
Colleagues and onlookers who rushed him into the emergency department for treatment are credited with saving his life.
Late last month he was reported to be in a serious but stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
A man, Kareem Al-Salami, 48, of Sunshine North, has been charged with attempted murder over the incident.
Adrian Rollins