Where there’s smoke, there’s ire
PHILL Moncrieff wants further action taken to stamp out “rampant” and “uncontained” smoking at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH).
Mr Moncrieff, a former patient who works near RPH, said the blatant smoking by staff, patients and public that he captured on camera had been ongoing for many years.
While RPH maintain it has taken practical measures to control smoking on the hospital site, Mr Moncrieff said it had not adequately addressed the problem.
“I’ve written a number of emails and repeated complaints to RPH saying that this is not on; I know a lot of people are discomforted by it,” Mr Moncrieff said.
“Their (RPH) line of defence is that it is too hard govern and that they just don’t have the jurisdiction to enforce a smoking ban.
“But I just don’t believe that. How can non smoking areas be enforced around cafes but not a hospital?”
RPH acting executive director Aresh Anwar said the hospital had implemented ‘no-smoking’ signage at frequently accessed areas and verbal requests to people smoking on hospital grounds.
“Patients are assessed for nicotine dependence and offered support to manage their nicotine cravings whilst in hospital,” Dr Anwar said.
“Under the Smoke Free WA Health System Policy, nicotine replacement therapy is provided to in-patients free of charge.”
However, WA Health’s smoke free operational directive and the Smoke Free WA Health System Policy does not apply to public areas or footpaths surrounding RPH, including Victoria Square owned by the City of Perth.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the City of Perth was willing to work with stakeholders to curb the issue.
“It is acknowledged that Royal Perth Hospital is owned by the State Government and along with other hospitals, the solution may lie in regulations, for which the state is responsible,” Ms Scaffidi said.
Mr Moncrieff said he hoped his plight would bring an end to the intolerable problem.
“This is a major public concern and I hope they don’t keep passing the buck on this issue.”
People smoking outside Royal Perth Hospital.