St John Ambulance Officers face regular attacks in PNG

 ST John Ambulance officers in Papua New Guinea continue to face harassment from the public despite numerous calls to let them do their work freely to save lives.

On Wednesday, while people were watching State of Origin, St John Ambulance emergency crews at stations across the country were busy attending to cases, chief executive officer Matt Cannon said.

He said unfortunately, there was one incident where rocks were thrown at an ambulance going urgently to Agevairu clinic for an emergency in Central.

“Such violence towards ambulances is unacceptable; ambulance crews are trying to help people,” he said.

“We thank the public who assisted our crews in assisting patients and getting them to the safety of hospitals.”

Cannon said among routine emergency workloads like maternal cases, heart attacks, accidents and strokes, ambulance crews were extra busy responding to many people injured through violence.

“Much of this violence was related to alcohol consumption,”he added.

“This evening (Wednesday) there have been multiple cases at the same time in Lae and Kokopo, which exceeded ambulance availability and resulted in delays reaching all patients quickly.

“St John currently staff one ambulance crew at night in Kokopo and Lae.

“To get to patients as quickly as possible and avoid delays, off-duty ambulance officers were called in to assist with a backlog of cases in Kokopo.”

Cannon said the number of emergencies St John is being called to in Kokopo/Gazelle and Lae was increasing greatly each night.

“So, being able to staff more ambulances each day and night at regional stations is a top priority for St John.”

He said St John welcomed donations and support that could help fund training and rostering of more ambulance officers for busy regional stations like Lae and Kokopo/Gazelle.

Statement/TheNational/ PNG Health News

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