Friday, June 29, 2007

Gomer sign

Recently there has been considerable outrage in the media of "patient dumping" by hospitals in Los Angeles. This is indeed an unfortunate thing and needs a solution. First, lets look at the problem. A homeless person is either sent to the hospital or comes in with a medical condition. The hospital then renders care for that condition and is ready to discharge the patient. What do you do when the patient does not have a home and what is the hospitals responsibility?

I am temped to say that the problem can be solved by having the patient walk into an attorney's office and stay there until the attorney can solve all the patient's possible legal problems, but will not go there. As it stands now, we have a hard time with homeless patients coming into the er claiming chest pain as they know that this will be several days of meals and shelter at the cost of the facility. Often, the missions are unable to take the patients or refuse. This is ontop of all the social workers trying just to get the patients medicines to take. I do not think that another legal, un-funded mandate is the answer. My solution, if these patients are not to be returned from whence they can, then fund and establish shelters for them.

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