Benghazi, 4 August:
Benghazi experienced another incident of hospital rage when a would-be patient and his friends were told the facility he . . .[restrict]wanted was not available. They attacked hospital staff, smashed equipment, fired shots and tried to trash the reception and emergency department.
According to employees at the city’s Hawari Hospital the attack took place early Friday morning, just after security had gone to perform Fajr prayers. A group of people came in and asked the hospital doctors to carry-out an MRI scan. When told that facility was not available there and that they would have to go to another nearby hospital, they were furious. Other armed men came in and joined them, and went on the rampage destroying hospital equipment and assaulting hospital staff.
Hospital patients, some seriously ill, were horrified at hearing the shooting, staff said.
Hospital security is becoming a major issue, and without any sign that it is being contained. There have been several cases of doctors and other staff being attacked while at work.
Last month, the head of medical affairs at Benghazi’s Al-Jalaa Hospital, Ashraf Sa’eity, said that the absence of security was severely affecting doctors’ and medical staffs’ work. Many doctors and nurses had been assaulted by people accompanying patients.
The head of the nursing staff at the hospital, Amina Bagoush, said at the time that doctors and nurses had gone on strike because of inadequate security and would not be admitting new patients until it was improved.
Security personnel, however, said that they were not allowed to use weapons to stop armed individuals entering the hospital and that the job was becoming so dangerous that many of people had quit. Only days earlier there had been a clash accrued between hospital security and the members of the Supreme Security Committee who had tried to arrest a patient.
In May, Benghazi Medical Association issued a protest to the government over the growing number of attacks on doctors and medical staff at the city’s hospital. Their counterparts at Tripoli Medical Centre at the same time staged a sit-in to protest the kidnapping of a doctor there by members of the armed militias. [/restrict]