Violence in hospital ERs will not be tolerated, DOH says

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jul 02, 2013 - Page 3

Violent acts in hospital emergency rooms will not be tolerated, the Department of Health said yesterday in response to recent assaults at medical facilities.

The department made a statement to publicly denounce the violence in the intensive care unit of Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital and the emergency room (ER) of Penghu Hospital on Saturday and Sunday respectively, stressing that emergency rooms and intensive care units are life-saving places needed by all, where no violence of any kind will be tolerated.

A group of people sent a friend suffering an asthma attack to the emergency room of Penghu Hospital on Sunday night and when a security guard tried to remove them from the premises after they caused a commotion, they allegedly assaulted the guard and another female hospital employee with a Taser.

In the Greater Kaohsiung incident, a patient’s son who was mildly mentally challenged allegedly punched the physician who broke the news to him about his father’s death, reportedly because he was overcome with grief.

The health authority made it clear that it will assist the affected medical facilities and the victims in taking legal action against the assailants to ensure the safety of hospitals.

The Medical Care Act (醫療法) stipulates that “no person shall use violence, coercion, intimidation or other illegal methods to disrupt the order of a medical institution or obstruct the execution of medical care practices.”

The suspect who attacked hospital workers with a Taser has been charged with obstructing an officer in the discharge of their duties.