Las Vegas hospital gives mentally ill patients one-way Greyhound tickets out of town

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
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San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera announced Monday that he is going to begin an investigation into Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada following accusations that the hospital has been providing patients with one-way Greyhound tickets to other states. The Sacramento Bee has run an investigative series into the hospital and claims that Rawson Neal has discharged around 1,500 patients this way, reports Yahoo News.

The Bee reports that many of the discharged patients were still mentally unfit and indigent. Around a third of them received tickets to locations in sunny California. Herrera said that sending the patients away with no structure “to be received by family, medical facility, or other responsible person at the place of destination, and without adequate food or medication, the Nevada hospital placed the patients at risk.”

In one case, a man being treated in Rawson Neal was put on a bus to Sacramento with only three days worth of medication for his schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. The man said the doctor recommended the trip to California because the state has better health care than Nevada.

Herrerra wrote to Nevada’s director of health and human services, requesting copies of all the relevant discharge reports. Nevada officials say the will review the cases themselves and cited “documentation error” for the lack of planning upon arrival for the patients. Meanwhile, officials in Los Angeles are debating opening their own investigation into the matter, as a majority of the patients shipped to California ended up in L.A.

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Sarah Hofmann