‘Sick act’: Hospitals raided for sanitiser and face masks
Hospitals have been forced to cable-tie hand sanitiser to the walls to stop thieving visitors stealing critical medical supplies.
Worse, masks and gloves have also been stolen, with some hospital staff declaring remaining stocks to be worryingly low.
Over at the Children's Hospital Randwick, the theft of masks has forced to staff to use ones designed for children
The thefts have occurred in both the city and the bush, with St Vincent's Hospital hit hardest.
Other metropolitan hospitals to be hit include Liverpool, Macquarie University, Westmead and Royal North Shore.
Regional hospitals to have recorded thefts include Wollongong, Bulli District, Port Kembla, Belmont, John Hunter, Maitland, Singleton, Tweed and Maclean.
Macquarie University Hospital at North Ryde and Liverpool Hospital both cable-tied sanitiser bottles to the walls, only for visitors to fill their personal sanitiser bottles from the hospital stock.
At Westmead, an entire trolley with personal protective equipment in a dedicated isolation room was taken, while a pallet of hand sanitiser at Singleton did not even make it to the hospital wards after being stolen.
At Maclean District, nursing staff were abused by a thief after they confronted him while he was cutting the cable ties securing the hand sanitiser.
Down in Bulli District, stock was stolen from the bedsides, corridors and main entrance with one thief snatching a bottle off a trolley while the cleaner was in the room.
Masks were stolen from Port Kembla Hospital with nursing staff reporting stores to be almost empty, while visitors took hand sanitiser from patients' bedsides.
Over at St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, the thefts have forced staff to seek permission from their manager if they need a mask and apron to go to isolation rooms.
NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association general secretary Brett Holmes said the theft of critical medical supplies was "not acceptable".
"Unfortunately, we've heard of many instances where community members have been stealing bottles of hand sanitiser, face masks and other vital resources from our hospital wards, leaving nurses and other hospital staff exposed," he said.
"This is not acceptable behaviour."
Originally published as 'Sick act': NSW hospitals raided for sanitiser and face masks