Health condemns attack on St John Ambulance

THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) condemns in the strongest possible term the disrespect and disregard displayed towards the important service that St John Ambulance is providing for our communities by few members of the public.

This statement followed a rock- throwing incident possibly involving youths under the influence of alcohol that occurred near the Tamboko road turnoff , west of Honiara, at a passing St John Ambulance over the weekend as well as similar incidents in the past.

Douglas Kelson, head of St John Ambulance said that the incident was not the first and the continuous occurrences of such incidents is slowly taking its toll on staff willingness to serve outside of Honiara especially at night times.

“There are some staff who are being traumatized by such incidents nevertheless when the need arises,” Kelson said.

“There is no other options but to brush aside our fears and continue to do our job therefore we need support from our community chiefs, elders and leaders including parents and guardians of our community youths,” he added.

The ministry said the emergency health transport St John Ambulance provides is very specialised and unique.

“Once disrupted, it can cost lives and disrupt future ambulances services to these areas where such incidents occur,” the ministry said.

“We a duty towards our partnership agreement with St John Ambulance to ensure safety of St John Ambulance personnel and volunteers.

“Therefore, if such incidents continue, we may suspend ambulance services to these areas thus in the best interest of all communities to ensure that St John Ambulance can move freely without fear and threat of rock throwing in between and to and from our communities.

“Community chiefs, leaders and elders including parents and family members are urge to work together to build respect of community youths for such services provided by St John Ambulances including all other health services and facilities.

“It could be your family member or friend that is next in line to be shuttled to the nearest appropriate health facility via the St John Ambulance thus such incidents should be prevented by all means,” the ministry said.

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