Time to cough up, docs tell smokers

DOCTORS want the Barnett government to start “handing out spot fines” to staff and patients who breach Fiona Stanley Hospital’s smoke-free status.

According to the hospital’s communications manager, enforcement is part of Serco’s $2 billion contract but the company reckons it simply has “a role to play”. What it boils down to is a smoke-free policy no-one’s enforcing.

“A smoke-free working group has been established at the hospital, which will be responsible for addressing all issues related to smoking at the site, reinforcing the smoke-free policy and ensuring staff are aware of their role and responsibilities,” the hospital spokeswoman said.

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Australian Medical Association WA vice-president Omar Khorshid says “in each of the major hospitals there is no policing of the policy”. “These are houses of healing and people are supposed to get better,” he grumbled to the Herald.

“Their hospitalisation is a great time to change patients’ smoking habits … while you’re here you can’t smoke so how about we put you on some patches and see if we can stop you smoking permanently.”

AMA president Michael Gannon says “people continue to ignore the plethora of no-smoking signs on site” and “handing out fines will help stop this practice”.


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