EMERGENCY: Adrian Pennington
EMERGENCY: Adrian Pennington Paul Donaldson BUN261116HOSP4

Bundy health boss condemns brawl in hospital emergency dept

THE group of men responsible for a brawl that unravelled in Bundaberg Hospital's Emergency Department waiting room has been criticised by the CEO of Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services.

Chief executive Adrian Pennington said while employees working in emergency departments and mental health services often worked in challenging circumstances and high-pressure environments, violent and aggressive behaviour in the department was inexcusable.

"At worst this behaviour can cause injury to an innocent bystander who may be attending the department due to injury or is simply doing their job as a health professional," he said.

"When people abuse our health professionals, administration officers or operational staff, it doesn't just affect our own team - it can upset and unsettle other patients and visitors, which is unacceptable."


EMERGENCY: Bundaberg Hospital.
EMERGENCY: Bundaberg Hospital. Mike Knott BUN051016EMERGENCY3

The statement comes after 20-year-old Jiah David Thompson pleaded guilty to one count of public nuisance for his involvement in an incident in July.

On Friday the Bundaberg Magistrates Court heard Thompson was one of about 10 men who had arrived at the hospital's emergency waiting room in the early hours of July 21 to fight a smaller group of men who had allegedly assaulted Thompson's cousin on another occasion.

The fighting that ensued involved at least 12 men and resulted in chaos, with CCTV footage showing people in the waiting room fleeing the space to escape the violent brawl.

Hospital security officers were forced to step in to put and end to the fight until police arrived. "Aggression and people settling private issues in our facilities is not acceptable, it does not belong here and we have a zero tolerance approach towards any violent or abusive behaviour," Mr Pennington said of the incident.

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