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Armed guards are needed in Sweden’s emergency services

The security situation in Sweden’s emergency hospital services has deteriorated drastically in recent years, according to a report by SVT Nyheter.

By – Brünnhilde 

“Under the current ongoing trend, I can not rule out the possibility that we will need armed security guards in our emergency services within a five to ten year period,” explained Andreas Fischer, chairman of the trade union hospital physicians Stockholm department.

According to occupational health surveys conducted by the Medical Association during 2010-2015, threats and violence have increased by 50 percent. And since then it has only continued to increase more, SVT News says. In an unpublished study, every third physician said they felt threatened at the workplace by a patient, and every fourth doctor said they were being threatened by a patient’s relative.

“We must become more aware of what it looks like. Previously, we have allowed for open doors at healthcare facilities, but we need to realize that not everyone looking for a healthcare facility may be there for healthcare but in fact may have other thoughts. And then we must identify them in efficient time and take appropriate measures,” says trade union chairman Fischer.

According to Fischer, emergency service employees in Lund and Malmö have witnessed perpetrators in robberies who cause destruction and continue to act violently around at emergency shelters after they have been injured.

“What their agenda is and the type of weapons they have, we do not know. But we must be able to ensure that these people can not enter,” says Fischer to SVT News . “We must implement safety in the organization of the hospitals and consider a security entrance that will enforce entry checks.”

The Moderates politicians in Stockholm County Council have promised to invest in the safety of hospitals. The plan is to set up a safety education. According to Fisher, this is one step in the right direction.

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“Last Wednesday, there was a murder attempt at the emergency room at Uppsala University Hospital. There should indicate quite a lot about the safety of our emergency services. Assassination attempts at our countries’ workplaces are a serious indicator of what it looks like,” he says and continues:

“Under the current ongoing trend, I cannot rule out that we may need armed guards on emergency services within a five to ten year period if nothing is done.”

But more action is needed. Andreas Fischer emphasizes that it is far too easy for anyone to gain access into the hospitals.

“The Government must realize Sweden’s new reality. In addition to education, premises must be upgraded and secured. A healthcare facility is not a tourist attraction where anyone is able to do as they please. It is a medical need for care and security that will be the criterion for patients staying at the hospital.”

There is concern about increased violence in other areas of emergency care. Gordon Grattidge, chairman of the ALARM / Ambulance Federation, has spoken to the Gothenburg Post about raising awareness of the danger of ambulance services entering the hospital’s emergency area.

“I know that it’s sensitive and a little controversial, but for us it’s really no-go, because we have the directive that we should not, really, go into dangerous situations,” says Grattidge.

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Read more: From  2018/03/28

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