Call to get tougher on drunks

OPPOSITION health spokesman Mark McArdle today called for tougher sentences for drunken louts who attack hospital emergency department staff.

The senior LNP politician hit out at inadequate protection from the courts for doctors and nurses highlighted by the case of a Rockhampton nurse who was assaulted by a patient at the city’s hospital.

Last week The Morning Bulletin revealed Rockhampton’s emergency department staff routinely dealt with about 15 violent drunks every weekend who punched, kicked, spat and vomited at those who were attempting to treat them.

A two-month sentence was far too soft he said as he joined a growing call for harsher punishments to deter thugs who, under the influence of drugs or drink, assaulted medics in the emergency room.

"Queensland Health staff working in hospitals had a tough enough job to do without worrying about the increasing risk of being assaulted," said Mr McArdle.

"The sentence of two-months jail handed down to Theresa Rose Williams for assaulting a nurse was far too soft, considering the maximum possible sentence for common assault is three years."



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