A viral video taken by a Baltimore resident walking by a hospital has many people questioning hospital practices when releasing homeless patients.
Imamu Baraka was walking past a hospital within the University of Maryland Medical System when he spotted a woman who was wearing nothing but a hospital gown in the freezing weather.
"It's about 30 degrees out here right now," Baraka says in the video "Are you OK, ma'am? Do you need me to call the police?"
In his Facebook post where he posted the video, Baraka criticizes the hospital.
“University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus (UMMC) as a Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) student — may I remind you of the importance of the VISION of your MEDICAL CENTER,” he wrote. “ ‘UMMC will be known for providing high value and compassionate care, improving health in Maryland and beyond, educating future health care leaders and discovering innovative ways to advance medicine worldwide.’ You can do better. You must do better.”
According to CBS News, the hospital's security guards had just wheeled the patient to a bus stop and left her. Baraka took out his phone and began recording his encounter with the patient.
A 2007 60 Minutes investigation revealed this is a common practice called “patient dumping.” The broadcast showed homeless patients from Los Angeles hospitals were discharged and left downtown in a similar fashion. The patients are often uninsured or struggling financially.
It is not immediately clear if the woman in the video is homeless or uninsured.
"Come on and sit down," Baraka tells the woman in the video. "I'm going to call and get you some help."
University of Maryland Medical Center told CBS News they "share the shock and disappointment of many who have viewed the video. In the end we clearly failed to fulfill our mission with this patient."
After Baraka recorded the video, he called 911 and medics took the patient back to the same hospital where she was originally released. A review is pending in order to determine if action against the hospital employees involved needs to be taken.
(Photo: Getty Images)
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