Anna Lo said: “Last week, I welcomed the police decision to provide two officers in Belfast City Hospital. This pilot scheme needs to be rolled out across Northern Ireland to protect healthcare staff and patients in hospitals across the region.
“It is of course a sad indictment on our society that police protection must be provided to protect hospital staff and patients alike.
“For too long healthcare professionals have suffered violence at the hands of thugs who prevent them from carrying out their vitally important work.
“Protection of this nature must be provided across Northern Ireland urgently to stamp out anti-social behaviour and violence in our hospitals.”