Violence in Sweden is spilling into its hospitals prompting an official to express the need for armed guards in emergency rooms.
Andreas Fischer, a head official for Stockholm's hospitals, says the major shift in protocol needs to happen soon.
"With the current trend, I cannot rule out that we will need armed guards in emergency services within a five to ten year period if nothing is done," said Fischer.
The need for extra security is supported by a study saying the amount of medical workers experiencing actual violence or the threat of violence rose 50% between 2010 and 2015.
Also, last year, 25% of all medical workers reported being exposed to said dangers.
Correspondingly, a third of physicians have been threatened by a patient and 25% have been threatened by the family of a patient - according to an unpublished study.
With these working conditions, Fischer also wants medical personnel specifically trained in conflict management as the majority have no such training.
These new measures are a response to what the official refers to as Sweden’s “new reality.”
"The management must realize the new reality and start acting accordingly,” says Fischer. “In addition to education, premises must be upgraded and secured.”
The new dangers are so great that previous ease of entry prevously afforded to the Swedes to enter hospitals must be reconsidered.
“Previously, we have had open doors at the healthcare facilities, but we need to realize that anyone looking for a healthcare facility may not be there for healthcare but have other thoughts," adds Fischer. "What they have planned and any weapons we do not know, but we must be able to ensure that these people cannot enter."
"It requires that you practice the security organization in the hospitals and that you have a shield that allows you to have entry checks."
(PHOTO: Holger.Ellgaard via Wikimedia Commons)