Melbourne's multicultural experience again

Hospital Emergency department a gang battleground

GANGS carrying guns, samurai swords and knives are terrorising doctors and nurses at a suburban hospital. Conflicts between the heavily armed migrant gangs are spilling from the streets into the emergency ward at Sunshine Hospital. A whistleblower said staff feared for their lives and were demanding 24-hour security in the casualty ward.

Warring Asian, Sudanese, Somali and Pacific islander gangs had taken their battles into the emergency department.

The whistleblower said incidents included:

ASIAN gangs threatening to throw chairs at each other when two groups arrived at emergency seeking treatment for separate stab victims.

A GUNSHOT victim forcing the evacuation of the hospital's emergency department after a security guard took him inside, despite fears he had a gun.

POLICE being regularly called to disperse gangs who were milling out the front of the hospital waiting for one of their members to be treated.

AT least one gang member a month presenting at the hospital with stab wounds.

Insiders estimated that about 70 "code grey" security alerts, where staff and patient safety is put at risk, occurred at the hospital each week.

The whistleblower, who is related to a hospital worker, said more needed to be done to protect staff. He feared that sooner or later, a staff member would be seriously injured or even killed at work.

"People come into the emergency department with samurai swords, gangs turn up with bullet wounds, and nurses and doctors go to work and put up with those things because they are dedicated," the whistleblower said. "You would think the hospital would be prepared to provide a security guard to give them some sense of safety."

A Western Health spokeswoman said the security of staff in the emergency department was taken "extremely seriously". "From time to time, there are incidents that can be very frightening for staff," she said. "But this is a constant challenge for emergency departments across Australia and the world. "We are examining security and working with staff on additional safety measures."


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