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Durham Health staff report abusive behaviour

Durham Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle, yesterday said staff have encountered abusive language and behaviour while on duty.

“Unfortunately, some Health Department staff have encountered negative comments, non-compliance and, in some cases, abusive language and behaviour, as they are doing their job working to keep everyone safe,” said Dr. Kyle.

“While we continue to strive to provide exceptional customer service, we have zero tolerance for community members who engage in the use of profane, aggressive, abusive, sexist, racist or homophobic language. Where necessary, individuals who engage in such behaviour will be referred to the appropriate authority for follow-up. Please be respectful and continue to work together to protect each other,” he warned.

Dr Robert Kyle

“I acknowledge that the pandemic has been exhausting and has had a significant impact on daily life. However, the pandemic is not over, and my staff continue to focus on mitigating the risks of Covid-19. Whether it is a public health nurse on the phone answering questions or working closely with a resident who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 to help identify potential risk for others, or a public health inspector who is responding to an outbreak or conducting an inspection to ensure public health measures are followed, please remember that their advice, direction or instruction is intended to prevent illness spread and deaths in our community,” Dr. Kyle pointed out.

He said the health and safety of Durham Region residents remain the Health Department’s main priority. Staff have been actively involved in Covid-19 response for a year and continue to focus on preventing illness spread in our community every single day.

“Each one of my dedicated staff members have a role to play in Covid-19 response; they use their specialized knowledge, skills and expertise to minimize risks of illness. The #PublicHealthProtects infographic highlights some of the Health Department’s Covid-19 response activities and achievements to date. Thank you to all area residents and community partners for continuing to support us in the fight against Covid-19,” he added.

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