Ambulance service employee has been eating into his savings after being assaulted 8 months ago
While members of the security forces have welcomed the announcement in the Budget that the Government will be awarding compensation for those who are seriously injured or killed in fatal accidents during the course of their duties, other employees who often have to work at the risk of coming across aggressive members of the people, are appealing to also be given this right to be given the same assurance by this Government. Kevin Farrugia, who works with the ambulance service, says that he has ended up eating into his savings after he was assaulted eight months ago.
Kevin said,”as soon as the patient saw the ambulance he grabbed my arm and did not wish to go to the hospital. I told him ‘all you have to do is come to the hospital so that they can take an X-ray of your head and you can go home quietly,’ but all at once he flipped and almost pushed me over, and he punched the nurse who was with us. In July I was operated on again because I have a torn tendon, and a broken bone. I am still recovering,” he said.
This is what Kevin Farrugia is going through since the incident which happened in February when an ambulance team was assaulted by a patient. Eight months later, Mr Farrugia is still not fit enough to report for work. Cases such as this have led the General Workers Union to urge the Government to extend the benefits it announced in the Budget to workers in the health sector who end up being victims of aggression in the course of their duties.
Speaking to TVM, Mr Farrugia added that people like him who work with the emergency services should be entitled to financial help when they are injured because of the nature of their jobs.
Kevin said, “we should be compensated like police officers because when we are out on the job we too want to go back home safe and sound. All we want is some kind of support. I had my pay reduced for the last eight months, and need to fork out expenses from my own pocket such as visits to specialists and to buy pills”.
It was the case of PC Simon Schembri which led the Government to announce in the Budget that details will shortly be given about the Government benefits to those members of the security forces who are involved in fatal accidents or incur a permanent disability which can prevent the individual from being able to work again.