Nursing staff and patients at the Athalassa Psychiatric Hospital faced an angry and potentially dangerous patient and convicted murderer on Saturday.

Prison guardS transferred and left the Asian convict at the hospital early on Friday morning without a police guard.

Saturday morning saw the patient being aggressive as he proceeded to destroy the contents of the observation room that he had been placed in. After unsuccessfully trying to open the door, he tore the air-conditioning unit apart.

He threatened nursing staff with a sharp plastic object and threw urine on them when they attempted to pacify him.

State Nurses Union (PASYNO) spokesman Giorgos Pychidis stated that the union had on several occasions communicated with the ministers of Health and Justice, demanding that convicts being brought to the hospital s be accompanied and supervised by armed guards as is the case with when they are transferred to other hospitals.

Pychidis told reporters that prison wardens, as well as MMAD officers, do not accept the responsibility to guard or to intervene in the event of a psychiatric patient showing aggressive behaviour.

Nursing staff do not have the experience or training to immobilise a dangerous convict, and Pychidis raised the question as what would have happened if the patient had somehow armed himself with something that could be used as a weapon.

When MMAD officers finally arrived at the hospital, they informed the nursing staff that they would only intervene if they were unable to immobilise him. The nursing staff finally managed to sedate the man.

PASYNO has called on the relevant authorities to assume their responsibilities before we start mourning victims.

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