It’s not often that I have a feeling of doom. Even though I hate so much of what is happening in our country, I suppose I still maintain a feeling of hope and optimism. Or I did, until now.
But something about the following incident makes my stomach twist with anger and my heart sink with depression.
UPDATE 3pm: WESTERN Health’s boss has admitted an incident that saw an elderly patient forcibly removed from a hospital emergency department on Friday night could have been better managed.
WH chief executive Kathryn Cook confirmed today that a male patient awaiting treatment was kicked out of the Sunshine Hospital’s emergency room just before midnight for abusing staff.
A witness told heraldsun.com.au that six “burly” security guards wheeled the man out of the emergency room and dumped him on the street in his pyjamas.
Ms Cook said staff members today were being quizzed about the incident and security footage was also being used.
“There were reports from other patients and staff of concern about his behaviour – that included making racist remarks, swearing and behaving in an aggressive way,” Ms Cook said.
She said the security staff “escorted” the man from the premises after staff members were forced to call three “Code Greys” for assistance, but she admitted his care was not ideal.
Heraldsun.com.au was alerted to the drama by Melbourne woman Mary Dugeja, who said she watched on in shock as “burly” security guards threw the man out.
“There was a man sitting in a hospital wheelchair, in his pyjamas, waiting to be seen,” Ms Dugeja said.
“He got a bit irate because he had been there since 2 o’clock that afternoon.”
Ms Dugeja said the man, who appeared to be in his late 60s or early 70s, banged on the counter yelling and swearing before retuning to his wheelchair and sitting down.
“About 10 seconds later, two burly security guards, with gloves on, came over and, without saying a word to him, grabbed his wheelchair and started pushing him towards the front door,” she said.
Ms Dugeja said people got up to watch as the man tried to hold onto the chair, before he was pushed onto the ground outside the emergency room.
“When the two security guards came back in they were followed by four other guards so there must have been six of them out there with him.”
She said the people left in the room were shocked and “could not believe what was happening.”
“The poor old guy was left outside until someone went and spoke to him and got him a blanket.
It was nearly midnight, he had been there since 2pm, no wonder he was irate.
He said some swear words and is said to have made some “racist” comments. OMG!!! Shock! Horror! I would love to know what those “racist” comments were. They were probably nothing more than an observation about the current state of our health care system. The system that is dying a slow and painful death, while money is poured into the hiring of interpreters instead of extra hospital beds.
Either that or he possibly couldn’t understand a word coming out of the non English speaking staff.
Note that he had returned to his wheelchair. There is no suggestion that he was still being abusive when he was thrown out.
What annoys me most is that his comments were used as an excuse for the thuggish treatment he received, in other words brutalizing a sick old man is a lesser crime than a few politically incorrect words coming out of his mouth.
Maybe the reason that this upsets me so much is because I can imagine myself in the same situation, some time down the track. Only by then I probably won’t be thrown out on the street, I’ll be lined up against the hospital wall and shot, dead.