Unions NSW is calling for a comprehensive government inquiry into the rise of violence in NSW hospitals after a double shooting at Nepean Hospital on Tuesday. 

It follows similar inquiries in Queensland and Victoria that went to great lengths to address the significant rise of violence against health workers in both states.

Unions NSW Acting Secretary Mark Morey said NSW health unions have long been raising the issue of an increase in the number of violent incidents in hospitals and the lack of powers and resources available for health and emergency workers to deal with them.

“Hospitals are places you go to get better, but all too often we are seeing frontline medical and emergency staff being harmed by violent patients and their visitors.

“The Baird Government has been aware of this problem for some time but their limited response is putting lives at risk,” Mr Morey said.

“We are calling for a state-wide review to include the rise of alcohol and drug related violence as well as other volatile mental health conditions so we can develop new protocols for handling these situations. No one should have to go to work and be confronted by violence.”

Mr Morey said it’s time the NSW Government woke up to the reality of the dangers health workers and the general public are facing every day in hospitals right across the state.

“There’s a totally unacceptable level of violence going on. Unions want to see an end to casualties coming from our casualty wards once and for all.

“If Health Minister Jillian Skinner is serious about the security and welfare of staff and patients being paramount then she will immediately initiate this inquiry to ensure safe and adequate workplaces and health services can be provided to all,” Mr Morey said.

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