The Australian Medical fraternity is deeply saddened by the death of heart surgeon, Mr Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann who was fatally attacked with a one-hit punch while on duty last month, in a random act of violence perpetrated by a visitor at the hospital. My deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues at Box Hill hospital
In his professional capacity, Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann was a highly skilled cardiothoracic surgeon, a member of AMA Victoria, and a loyal colleague to many.
As a Board Director with Ambulance Victoria, I am aware that occupational violence is a daily reality for too many of our emergency services and health care providers. The tragic irony of being maimed or killed in the course of providing care – is a sad indictment on public regard for these professionals, committed to caring for us.
We all need to be vigilant in calling out aggressive and inappropriate behaviour when we see it- at home, at work, on the streets -wherever we encounter it. If not, we effectively condone what can escalate into fatal consequences.
So wrong. So awful. So unacceptable.