18 July 2018

Parts of Canberra Hospital ED closed tonight after shots fired

| Ian Campbell
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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.

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So if the horrifyingly poor care standards of Canberra Hospital don’t kill you, a flailing crim with stolen gun just might.

Hmmm. Our nation’s capital.

Capital Retro9:18 pm 18 Jul 18

Why was the man taken to the hospital in the first place? There is reference to “serious traffic offences” but no reports of injury.

That leave the probability that he was taken there to have a blood test to determine or eliminate the presence of alcohol (I don’t think they do drug testing).

If you are involved in a car accident in the ACT and you seek treatment at TCH ED you have a blood sample taken before you are assessed. This happens even if you are breathalysed and cleared at the scene of the accident if police are in attendance.

This system needs review. Why should TCH be the agents of the police – TCH’s job is to serve the people who are seeking medical assistance.

Wrong. The ABC reports this man to have caused this morning’s Yamba Dr crash, which occured by 7:40am (since I drove past the scene at that time). Police bloods must be collected within 4 hours of the event i.e. by 11:40am. So for the offender to still be a patient in ED at 4pm there would be a medical indication. We just don’t have a right to that information.

Capital Retro7:47 am 19 Jul 18

I am not “wrong” as the qualification I made was “there is reference to serious traffic offences but no reports of injury.”

You have received more detailed information from a different source.

So, are you happy with TCH acting as agents for the police?

I think you will find that TCH is an agent for the courts, not police.

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