The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) condemns the disrespect displayed towards the important service that St John Ambulance has been providing to our communities by few members of the public.
This statement followed a rock- throwing incident possibly involving youths under the influence of alcohol that occurred near the Tamboko road turnoff , west of Honiara, at a passing St John Ambulance over the weekend as well as similar incidents in the past.
Douglas Kelson, head of St John Ambulance said that the incident was not the first and the continuous occurrences of such incident is slowly taking its toll on the St. John staff's willingness to serve outside of Honiara especially at night times.
"There are some staff who have been traumatized by such incidents. Nevertheless when the need arises, there is no other options but to brush aside our fears and continue to do our job. Therefore we need support from our community chiefs, elders and leaders including parents and guardians of our community youths.”
MHMS would like to remind the public that such emergency health transport like the St John Ambulance provide very specialised and unique service that once disrupted can cost lives and disrupt future ambulances services to these areas where such incidents occurs. Ministry of Health has a duty towards its partnership agreement with St John Ambulance to ensure safety of St John Ambulance personnel and volunteers.
Therefore, if such incidents continues, MHMS may suspend ambulance services to these areas. MHMS calls on all communities to ensure that St John Ambulance can move freely without fear and threat of rock throwing within our communities.
Community chiefs, leaders and elders including parents and family members are urged to work together to build respect from community youths for such services provided by St John Ambulances including all other health services and facilities.
Anyone can be the next in line to be shuttled to the nearest appropriate health facility via the St John Ambulance thus such incidents should be prevented by all means.
Source: Press Release, Ministry of Health and Medical Services