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13 June 2017

Behavioural assessment room an unfortunate necessity

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says she is pleased the state government is committing to establish a behavioural assessment room at the Warrnambool Base Hospital.

Mrs Britnell said it unfortunate that such rooms have become a necessity to protect healthcare workers from violent attacks.

“We’ve seen a near 1000 per cent increase in the number of crimes relating to the drug ice in the Warrnambool area over the past two years and it’s not just our police dealing with the violent attacks that are often associated with that drug,” Mrs Britnell said.

“It’s become far too common to hear of violent attacks on nursing and medical staff who are just trying to do their jobs and look after the sick and injured.

“It’s unfortunately become necessary to increase security at our hospitals to protect our doctors and nurses – not just because of the drug ice, but because some people feel the need to physically and verbally abuse others.

“As a former nurse, I support anything that increases the safety and security of doctors and nurses who save lives each and every day.”

Mrs Britnell said while improving security was important, when it came to the ice epidemic gripping the state we can’t ignore the fact the problem doesn’t end with a crime.

“It’s a health issue and we can’t just put people behind bars,” she said.

“There’s no doubt we need to invest in health and in rehabilitation for drug users. It’s going to need a big investment across the country.

“Unfortunately Daniel Andrews has not delivered one public rehabilitation bed in the two and a half years Labor has been in government.

“The Government has announced $81 million to tackle Ice and increase rehabilitation beds, but it looks like none will be in the South West, despite the skyrocketing statistics.”