Las Vegas Hospital Allegedly Shipping Mentally Ill Patients Out of Town on Buses

A Las Vegas hospital has allegedly been sending mentally ill patients out of town on buses

By Jean Elle
|  Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:56 AM PDT
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San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera is launching an investigation into reports of a pattern of alleged patient dumping by a Rawson-Neal psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas. Public Records show over the past five years, the hospital has discharged hundreds of mentally ill patients and put them on buses to cities across the country. Jean Elle reports.

San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera is launching an investigation into reports of a pattern of alleged patient dumping by a Rawson-Neal psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas. Public Records show over the past five years, the hospital has discharged hundreds of mentally ill patients and put them on buses to cities across the country. Jean Elle reports.

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Is a Las Vegas hospital putting mentally ill patients on buses and sending them to San Francisco?

City Attorney Dennis Herrera wants to know if published reports claiming Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital dumped more than 1500 patients over the past five years across the country are true.

He launched an investigation Monday and believes the hospital sent 36 patients to San Francisco, giving them one-way tickets but no plans for treatment or resources once they arrived.

Herrera says it's deplorable, "taking advantage of our most vulnerable, putting them on a bus with a one-way ticket to somewhere with no support." 

Herrera believes the patients ended up homeless on the streets and in shelters. He is asking non-profit service providers to help identify the victims.

The Department of Public Health said it is in contact with two victims already.

At Mother Brown's kitchen, where the line for free dinner is long, director Gwendolyn Westbrook says, "Go to San Francisco — you can get what you need, they'll take care of you. It's true, but come on."

Westbrook says if Nevada is sending discharged mentally ill patients out of state, they should send funding as well. Nevada officials are investigating the claims.

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