‘A mentally ill man was able to roam a busy emergency department, masquerading as a doctor and “consulting” patients, in a serious security breach that exposes the worsening staffing crisis in Australia’s hospitals.
In the recent incident at Wyong Hospital on the NSW central coast, the intruder was able to examine five patients before being challenged while trying to escort one of them outside for a cigarette. He then ran off.
While none of the five patients was harmed, hospital sources describe the incident as a near miss. They say emergency department rosters are now dominated by “transients” such as locums – making it all but impossible for regular staff to spot someone who should not be there.’