A place Canberrans turn to in times of need and crises has been plunged into its own emergency today.
At about 4 pm this afternoon (July 18) a 26-year-old man charged with serious traffic offences assaulted members of ACT Policing who were standing guard during his own care at The Canberra Hospital.
The man was under police watch following alleged incidents that occurred this morning.
During this afternoon’s altercation, the offender gained control of a police officers weapon and was able to fire.
The man was disarmed and restrained by police at the scene.
Thankfully, no members of the public or hospital staff were injured. The situation was contained and there is no further risk to public safety.
The circumstances have been declared a critical incident and officers from the Australian Federal Police Professional Standards unit have attended the scene and will oversee the investigation.
The man is expected to appear in court tomorrow for serious traffic offences and attempted robbery. It is anticipated that further charges will follow regarding what has just happened at Canberra Hospital.
ACT Health advises that services in the Emergency Department (ED) have been impacted with some areas closed.
In a statement a short time ago, the hospital says it is, “Working with ACT Policing to bring these areas back online as quickly as possible.”
“We ask the community for their patience at this time.
“The Canberra Hospital ED is still operational. However, we would encourage people with non-life or limb threatening injuries and or illnesses to consider alternative treatment options to attending the ED tonight.”
Those other options include:
- Community Pharmacist – your local pharmacist is qualified to give you expert advice on many health issues;
- HealthDirect – call 24 hours a day seven days a week on 1800 022 222 for free expert advice and reassurance;
- Walk-in-Centres – one-off treatment of minor illness and injuries for those over the age of two, see a specialist nurse seven days a week. Walk-in Centres are located in the Belconnen and Tuggeranong Community Health Centres and are open from 7.30am to 10pm daily;
- General Practitioners – for ongoing comprehensive health care for everyone, including those with acute problems, children under two years and those who have complex medical problems, your GP is your best option;
- CALMS – call 1300 422 567, the call centre is open weeknights from 6 pm and all day weekends and public holidays;
- National Home Doctor Service – cal 137 425, from 6 pm to 12 pm weeknights, Saturday and all day Sunday and public holidays. All National Home Doctor Service after hours home visits are bulk billed.
ACT Health advises, people who are seriously ill with a genuine medical emergency, should always call 000 or seek treatment through their closest ED, which is still the case tonight.