Australian hospital staff to receive stab-proof vests

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Canberra, April 16 (IANS) Hospital staff in the state of Western Australia (WA) will soon receive stab-proof vests and panic alarms to provide them with extra protection from violent and drug affected patients.

State Minister for Health Roger Cook announced on Sunday that the WA government has committed 2.2 million Australian dollars (US $1.7 million) towards protective equipment for frontline health and security staff in major hospitals and other health institutions, to address increasing levels of violence and aggression, reports Xinhua news agency.

During 2016-2017, more than 11,000 incidents of violence and aggression were reported.

Over the next three years, around 250 anti-stab vests will be provided to over 2,500 personnel with mobile duress alarms also on offer for health workers to reduce the risk of injury during home visits and remote area travel.

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“Frontline health workers perform a vital service in our community, so it is essential we do all we can to ensure their safety,” the minister said.

According to Cook, the security needs of high-risk sites such as tertiary hospital emergency departments, mental health institutions and maternity wards will be addressed in 2018-2019, with additional protective equipment to be rolled out at other sites in subsequent years.

–IANS

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