Vancouver resident says hospital discharging patients onto street bench

Click to play video: 'Concerns about alleged patient dumping at VGH'
Concerns about alleged patient dumping at VGH
Concerns are growing about the well being of some discharged patients at Vancouver General Hospital. A resident living across from the hospital says he's seen multiple instances of so-called “patient dumping”. Alissa Thibault reports. – Jan 20, 2024

A resident who lives near Vancouver General Hospital says he regularly witnesses hospital staff and security discharging patients onto a street bench.

“They rush them to this bench, and they are left there to fend for themselves sometimes in not much more than a hospital gown,” Remi Caudron said. “Just yesterday, a gentleman just had a hospital blanket over him, and it was raining.”

Caudron said it first started happening between four to five years ago.

“The first thing (I noticed) was the noise because it always comes with resistance from the person being brought out of the hospital, especially in this weather,” he told Global News.

“(There) is shouting, commotion, and (I) hear it from my balcony.”

The resident said he’s seen “dozens” of patients being dropped off on the street bench. He said he’s tried to contact the city, the police and social services regarding the issues.

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“I’ve seen someone crawling across (the street) trying to get back to what they consider a safe space like literally out of their wheelchair and trying to get back to the hospital,” he said. “It is intense and breaks my heart.”

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When it comes to the police and other service he’s reached out to, Caudron said they “take note” but there isn’t much response.

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Global News tried to get an interview with Vancouver Coastal Health. A spokesperson said no one was available for an interview.

It responded with an email instead.

“Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is committed to the delivery of safe, quality, and compassionate care, especially to our region’s priority populations,” the email said.

“In some instances where a patient is disruptive and a full discharge plan is not possible, they may be escorted off the premises. A discharge plan should include compassionate patient supports and VCH regrets that there were missteps in this process, which do not reflect VCH values or standards of care.

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Officials said they have reached out to one individual to “offer additional supports, as appropriate. VGH is currently reviewing the incident and ED discharge-planning process to avoid a similar situation in the future.”

Global News has reached out to Vancouver police for comment.

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