Meth turns Perth hospital into a 'war zone'

Jessica Page

Staff at Perth’s biggest emergency hospital say methamphetamine use, or the drug ‘ice’, is to blame for turning wards into “war zones”.

7 News has obtained new security footage of the violence Royal Perth Hospital staff deal with every day.

Footage of a disorderly man in the emergency department. Source: 7News

New figures show staff triggered the code black alarm 547 times in the first three months of this year – more than five times every day.

The figures also show almost 7000 aggressive incidents have been recorded since 204 leaving staff terrified of doing their job.

Security have been forced to deal with almost 7000 incidents. Source: 7News

More than 240 workers have been hunt on the job in that same timeframe.

“They didn’t sign up to be in a war zone,” AMA emergency medicine spokesperson Dave Mountain said.

Dr Mountain said emergency staff have been confronted by a range of weapons, including swords and guns.

A violent patient at RPH. Source: 7News

“People have been knocked unconscious, broken noses …those things happen regularly.”

Staff are laying the blame squarely on drugs, in particular ice.

Violent behaviour caught on CCTV. Source: 7News

Just last month, two guards struggled to contain an angry man, another nurse was attacked with a baseball bat and a paramedic was forced to retreat to his ambulance to avoid being hit by a glass bottle.

“I’m fairly confident about the level of security that is provided but it is under review all the time,” Health Minister John Day said.

A violent patient at RPH. Source: 7News

In startling figures, 1.3 million Australians had admitted trying methamphetamine by 2013.

And now, alarming new figures show West Australians are using 31kg of meth each week, according to wastewater testing.

A man is detained outside the hospital. Source: 7News

Bunbury is WA's drugs capital according to the data, with results from the Bunbury treatment plant showing the highest meth use per capita, with about 558 doses per 1000 people each week