Abuse of medical staff must stop - Derry MLA

Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy has said there must be a zero tolerance approach to the verbal abuse of healthcare staff and medical professionals.

He made the call after being contacted by members of the medical profession concerned at the level of abuse being endured by staff at local practices.

The Foyle MLA said: “People will be shocked to find that during the Coronavirus pandemic, a tiny minority of people have been verbally abusing staff at doctors’ surgeries in the city.

Hide Ad

“I have been told in many practices, receptionists have been receiving terrible abuse over the phones and at the front desks. In some cases, they have had to go off sick with stress while others have actually left their jobs because the situation became intolerable.”

Sinn Féin MLA Padraig Delargey.

Mr Delargy said that while people may be frustrated over difficulties accessing appointments or other services, this was “no excuse” for the minority who are “abusing staff who are working long hours in very trying circumstances”.

“The stress these workers and their families are under is immense and like every other healthcare worker we are all indebted to the work they do. The verbal abuse these workers face is wrong and must end,” he said.

Hide Ad

Meanwhile Health Minister Robin Swann has spoken of reports of staff being abused at some vaccination hubs in the north. “Unfortunately, there have been some reports about abusive behaviour towards staff at vaccination centres. This is totally unacceptable,” he said.