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Doctor assaulted at Kelowna General Hospital

A doctor was punched by a patient at the hospital Tuesday night

A doctor was allegedly assaulted by a patient in the emergency department of Kelowna General Hospital Tuesday night.

According to a source, who asked to remain anonymous, the doctor was punched in the face.

“On Tuesday night there was an incident at Kelowna General Hospital while a physician was providing care to a patient. We are thankful that no one suffered serious injuries and we’ve been in contact with the physician and impacted staff and will continue to provide support,” said Andrew Hughes, KGH health services administrator.

“Interior Health has a zero-tolerance policy on violence. Unfortunately, exposure to violent or aggressive behaviour is something we are occasionally faced with working in healthcare because we are caring for patients who are often in emotional, vulnerable, and in stressful situations and their actions can be unpredictable. We are committed to providing our staff with the environment and tools necessary to improve safety through education, structural upgrades, as well as efficient security supports.”

IH is currently reviewing the circumstances and the RCMP are investigating, said Hughes.

“At Kelowna General Hospital, we’ve made structural changes to increase safety, including the installation of convex mirrors to increase visibility, additional card access to secure restricted zones, and cameras in triage which are monitored by security. We’ve also undergone extensive renovations to the triage areas to improve safety, including the installation of nurse-controlled sliding doors and a counter barrier between patients and nurses within the triage area,” he said.

IH has also implemented a new Client Service Ambassador program to further enhance safety at three hospitals, including Kelowna.

“The CSAs are security employees; however, they are more casually dressed and are integrated within the emergency department team. They work proactively with patients, visitors and staff in the emergency department to avoid and mitigate incidents of aggression,” said Hughes.

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