A Melbourne hospital has shut down its emergency department and sent staff home amid concerns about the security of its patients.
Key points:Montefiors emergency department, which has been closed since July, reopened on Monday after receiving a high level of medical alerts from the FBIMontegyro Hospital said its emergency services staff were being told to stay home until further notice.
The hospital said it had not received any new security threats, but was working with the FBI to assess security threats.
Montefimo Hospital said the decision was made after it received a high-level of medical warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the wake of the terrorist attack on the US consulate in Libya on September 11.
The US consulate was the target of a deadly attack on September 12.
Montecoville Medical Centre was one of several facilities that were evacuated following the attack on its grounds, and closed for the rest of the week.
In a statement, the hospital said the staff who had been sent home had been advised to remain at the hospital until further orders.
“We are working closely with the Australian Federal Police to assess the security threats to our patients,” the statement said.
“Monte fimbriare Hospital is aware of the security concerns raised by the FBI regarding our emergency department.
The emergency department is currently closed and has been operating under a temporary lockdown as a precautionary measure until the full details are known.”
Monte Fimbriares medical centre was one in a series of four locations across the country closed for security reasons, including the state of WA and a Sydney hospital.
In the wake, Australian Health Minister Peter Dutton issued a statement saying the government was notifying all health care workers of potential safety concerns.
“I can confirm the Australian Health Department is notifying Health and Wellness Services staff of potential security concerns regarding their facilities at Montefiores Montecovilles emergency department,” Mr Dutton said in a statement.
“The health and wellbeing of our patients and staff is paramount and this is something we are taking very seriously.”
In a tweet, Dr Jennifer Mather, a senior lecturer in trauma medicine at the University of Melbourne, said Montecos emergency department had become the focus of the Australian security and law enforcement community.
“A lot of people are concerned about Montecofs security,” she said.
“There is a lot of fear in the community.”
Dr Mather said the threat was not unique to Montecomys emergency department but that she had spoken to others who had seen patients at the facility and they were not aware of a particular threat.
“It’s a little bit of a grey area,” she told ABC News Breakfast.
“If you’ve got a patient who is not really a high risk to the community, but you think that there might be a risk that someone could be armed or there’s a risk they’re at risk of being shot, there’s not a whole lot that we know that we can do to make sure that that patient is safe.”
Ms Mather warned that although Monteconis emergency department was a secure facility, there was no guarantee it would be safe.
“One of the things that we’re going to be looking at, we’ll be looking to see how well Montecobriare has done, is how well are they able to respond to an attack at any given time,” she added.
The Australian Federal Government said it was working to assess threats to Montefimbriar hospital.