We wish to reply to a comment made in the Post Courier 08 March 2022 in relation to a male victim of alleged police brutality.
The report indicates that police took the victim to a St John Ambulance base by police. The person being interviewed is quoted as saying St John “refused services”.
We send our sincerest condolences to the family affected by what is reported to be a brutal mistreatment by parties named in the article.
Hospitals are where people with serious injuries need treatment. Often ambulance stations (bases) are unmanned because the ambulance personnel are in their ambulances attending to emergencies in the community. Bringing a patient to an ambulance station for treatment is not advised, especially when a hospital is just metres down the road.
St John Ambulance is highly concerned by the nature of the complaint being made in relation to the alleged brutal handling of the casualty by persons referred to in the article.
“St John firmly asserts that all persons in our society, regardless of what they are alleged to have or have not done, should be treated humanely and professionally by any person in society, especially uniformed people sworn to protect.”
The burden of brutality in our society is costing estimated hundreds of millions of kina each year in hospital costs. Victims of brutality require highly expensive hospital treatment. Some never fully recover with limb amputations or traumatic brain injuries. These causalities need surgery, and are sometimes so severe they have to be prioritised in the operating theatre above other people needing surgery, meaning other people miss out on the surgery needed.
We are disgusted with the brutality continually served out against our people. There has to be a better way to manage misconduct than through brutal means.
“Whilst ambulance stations are happy to assist in emergency situations, we do not recommend you bring patients to an ambulance station because the ambulance crew are often out attending emergencies. Call 111 for emergency help so we can send an ambulance to you, or go straight to a hospital.”
“St John does not refuse its services to the general public and in the patient’s state, it was advisable that the patient be brought straight to the general hospital for further assessment and treatment.”
“St John ambulance stations are not hospitals. If a person needs help urgently, call 111 for an ambulance or seek urgent medical care at a hospital.”