The Guyana Police Force has indicated that it will be instituting charges against the members of a family who attacked Doctors and other medical staff at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) on Sunday night.
Some Doctors were forced to scamper for cover as the drunken family members threw chairs across the room and knocked down medical equipment after being told than an x-ray service was not available at the hospital at the time for an injured relative they had taken to the hospital.
Commander of ‘D’ Division, Leslie James, made the disclosure today during a security meeting on the issue with the Health Minister, Volda Lawrence.
Mr. James indicated that investigators will be moving to file charges as soon as they complete interviews with one of the Doctors who witnessed the 25 minute long attack in the emergency room of the hospital.
During the meeting today between the Police and the Health Minister and Region Three officials, the Police Commander admitted to “several lapses” made by his ranks who he said did not act promptly after receiving calls about the attack.
The Health Minister said she was very concerned that it took more than three calls to the nearby Police station before ranks responded to the pleas of the hospital staff.
“What concerned me more is that three calls had to be made before assistance could be rendered to the (assaulted) staff. This is very, very worrying. This ought to be have been treated with urgency,” Lawrence told Regional and police authorities.
She continued: “I will not allow anybody to run roughshod over my staff”.
Commander James who was posted to Region Three some eight months ago has promised to restart nightly checks at the health facility by police.
Beginning immediately, hospital staff will have direct contact with all senior Region Three police ranks “to ensure quick and immediate responses” to enhance their safety concerns, Commander James announced during Wednesday’s meeting.
He also promised to meet with executives of Home Safe, the firm contracted to provide security at the Hospital and highlight the need for stronger qualification for security agents under their charge.
There will be a stronger police presence “during peak hours” at the hospital beginning this week, the Commander assured Minister Lawrence.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister has personally written the medical staff who were victims of Sunday’s “vicious verbal and personal attacks.”
In the letter to the staff, Minister Lawrence noted “I deeply regret the unfortunate incident that occurred at West Demerara Hospital on Sunday April 30, 2017 in which you were under attack by a drunken group seeking medical assistance. I recognise that in your capacity as medical professionals, you encounter a vast spectrum of people some of whom are extremely disrespectful and display behaviours totally undeserving of the great service that you as health practitioners render to the public.”
She said the Ministry was ready to offer support services to the staff members as security at the hospital will also be improved.