Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, May 20, 2013

L.A. Investigates Las Vegas "Patient-Dumping" Hospital

I want you to take a good look at this photograph. The street is Skid Row in Los Angeles. Doesn't seem like a safe place to visit, does it? I'm guessing most of you wouldn't want to visit this ghetto in good health, let alone in bad health.

And yet over 150 patients have been bused to this location by Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada's primary mental health facility.

For over five years, the Las Vegas facility has been accused of "systematically dumping patients across state lines." Over 1,500 psychiatric patients were bused to cities nationwide, with a third being sent to California, a newspaper investigation into the hospital revealed.

Most patients were sent to communities with awaiting family and friends or to hospitals for further medical treatment; but in other cases, they were sent to cities they never even visited. Often these patients would be placed on buses alone, without a chaperone or even plans or provisions for their safe arrival, being sent with little more than a bag of medication and a bottle of dietary supplement.

One of its most infamous cases in 2007 involved a homeless, parapalegic man "still dressed in his hospital gown and connected to a catheter bag" who was discovered "dragging himself along a gutter" on Skid Row, where many patients have been reportedly dumped.

It was cases like this that motivated the city to adopt one of the strictest "patient-dumping" laws in the country, and to launch a criminal investigation against the hospital, which could lead to it losing federal funding.

And this, my comrades, is why we need socialized medicine in this country! Do you think it's acceptable for hospitals to bus their patients to the middle of nowhere like this? Clearly the profit-motive is at fault here. If these hospitals were not motivated by greed, they would care more about patient safety and none of this would happen.

Seriously, do you think this crap happens in "more civilized" countries with socialized medicine like Great Britain? Do you think the British NHS would  allow one million patients to be victims of neglect in its hospitals across the county? Do you think patients are far more likely to go hungry than prisoners? Do you think the standards of care in its wards “would shame a third world country”? Do you think its hospitals would prompt elderly people to die in order to free up beds?

Wait. What's that? Crap like that does happen under socialized medicine? Oh. Well. Never mind, then.