The Strangford Assembly Member said: “Its time that the government cracked down on the thugs who attack healthcare professionals.
“We need stronger sentences against perpetrators and we need them introduced immediately. There must be a stronger deterrent in place to stop these thugs.
“Hospitals and surgeries must be given more funding so that more protection can be provided for staff. Funding should be provided so that more security doors and cameras can be installed and so that more security staff can be employed in hospitals.
“Alcohol plays a major part in many of these assaults too. Many of the assailants are under the influence of alcohol. The drinking culture which exists here must be tackled and I am glad to see that a hard-hitting advertising campaign against binge drinking has been introduced recently.”