Tighter security measures are due to take effect at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) on Sunday.
Chief Executive Officer Dr Dexter James said today the new measures, which were being implemented on a phased basis, would first be introduced in the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E).
He said new security personnel were being hired for A&E, adding that visitors to the hospital would soon be required to pass through security scanners, as well as have their bags and other personal belongings checked upon entry.
The move follows two recent security breaches at the island’s main health care institution.
Last Thursday, an emergency staff meeting was also summoned by management to discuss the safety of employees and patients.
Dr James told the meeting that the hospital’s board of management was very concerned about the recent lapses, including two separate incidents in which an armed man threatened the lives of staff, and the tyres of vehicles parked on the compound were slashed.
“The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is giving the assurance that the safety of staff, visitors and patients is the number one priority,” the CEO assured.
Director of Support Services Louise Bobb also pointed out that while the Charter for the Rights of Patients provides a measure of protection to patients at the hospital from physical, verbal and mental abuse, there was need for patients and visitors to be courteous and respectful to staff.