Friday, February 09, 2007

Don't Be Silly

Our healthcare system is just fine -- best in the world. From Agence France Presse:

A homeless paraplegic man wearing a soiled gown and a broken colostomy bag was found crawling in the street after being allegedly dumped on Los Angeles' skid row by a hospital, police said.

The incident, which took place in broad daylight on Thursday and was seen by several witnesses, was described by police as one of the worst cases of homeless dumping they had ever seen.

"I can't think of anything colder than that," Los Angeles Police Department detective Russ Long told the Los Angeles Times. "There was no mission around, no services. It's the worst area of skid row."

Witnesses noted the license plate of the medical van, and police later linked it to the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.

Police are questioning officials from the hospital over what appears to be the latest case of "homeless dumping" in the city.

Kaylor Shemberger, executive vice president for Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, told The Times that, "if some of the facts are correct, it is clearly not in line with our policy of handling these types of patients."

In November, Los Angeles officials charged healthcare giant Kaiser for dumping a patient in the city's homeless district.

Kaiser stands accused of returning a 63-year-old woman to skid row in March after she received treatment at the healthcare provider's Bellflower hospital.

Surveillance cameras recorded a taxi driver dropping off the woman, Carol Ann Reyes, who wandered around in a hospital gown and slippers before a volunteer from a nearby homeless shelter came to her aid.

Kaiser has been charged with false imprisonment and dependent adult endangerment in relation to the case, Los Angeles justice officials said.

The Bellflower is among 10 Los Angeles-area hospitals being investigated for whisking homeless patients back to skid row, city officials said.

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