Disrespect! - family says HIV patient left on sidewalk
A family member is claiming that her HIV-positive cousin was disrespected by a Corporate Area hospital, that sent him home on a taxi last Friday. He was then left on the street in their community.
Information reaching THE STAR is that the 34-year-old was spotted on the sidewalk in pampers on West Street which surprised his family, who expected that he would still be receiving treatment due to his condition.
The patient's cousin said after she visited him at his home two months ago, she saw that he was very ill and brought him to the hospital, where he was admitted.
"He was weak, he was perishing away and couldn't hold him (faeces) cause him not eating to take the tablets. Is like everybody just give up pon him so is like him get worse," she explained.
She said that the persons whom he lived with were unwilling to give him the necessary care because of his HIV status.
"Dats why he reach in that state and so dem scorn him. When he was at the hospital nobody go and look for him from the yard," she told THE STAR.
The family showed our news team documents and hospital records to prove that he was a patient.
The relative said she visited whenever she could and brought pampers and other items.
"It happen that sometimes mi can't go cause me affi work and me try send somebody go. Everybody seh dem nah go and when yu go the doctor dem a cuss a seh we fi come tek him cause people a come look fi him so dat means say him no abandon," she told THE STAR.
However, she claims that he was officially discharged from the hospital three weeks ago, although he was still unable to walk or sit up.
Though discharged, he remained in hospital, as she begged the hospital staff for time to find somewhere suitable for him "cause any how him go home, him a go dead cause dem abandon him."
She said that she went to look for him last Thursday, a nurse told her that he needed to leave "because we want the bed."
The relative repeated her intention to find suitable accommodation but the following day, she got a call that he was left outside his home.
"They just come and left him pon the road and no call nobody," she added.
When THE STAR contacted Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton he said that while he is not privy to the specifics of this case, as a general policy hospital administrators do not put people out on the streets.
Tufton told THE STAR: "The health act makes hospitals a place of safe keeping. So persons by policy and legislation are not to be put out on the streets, and I would not make a distinction between an AIDS patient and a stroke victim. It's partly the reason why we have so many social cases in the hospitals because persons drop their loved ones or family members at the hospital and they don't pick them up, even with efforts from the hospital itself to make contact, family or loved ones don't accept them."