A graphic new campaign is being launched in Queensland to try and curb attacks on paramedics and frontline health care workers.
The $1.35 million campaign, entitled ‘Assault isn’t part of the job. It’s a crime’ comes as Health Minister Cameron Dick claimed last financial year more than 3,300 healthcare workers were physically assaulted.
The campaign will kick off this weekend and feature a mix of social and digital, television, billboards and bus stop advertising.
“The ads are full-on but in reality it can get a lot worse,” Dick said, per the ABC.
“Sadly, being punched, bitten, slapped, kicked, and even spat on, is a reality for healthcare workers.”
Julz Raven, a paramedic for 15 years, has been seriously assaulted several times and said the problem was out of control.
“The way I felt after my assault is that this uniform kind of allowed someone to use me as a punching bag, repetitively,” she said. “When this happens, you really re-evaluate what you could have done.”
Those found guilty of assaulting a healthcare worker face a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, but this hasn’t stopped the crimes from increasing.
From June 2014 to June 2015 there was a 36 per cent rise in the number of health staff being kicked, hit and injured, according to data from the Opposition LNP.