July 17, 2012
Medical Director says hospital stuck with homeless man until next-of-kin ready to house him

The man with broken legs who Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) staff returned to an abandoned building on July 7, no longer needs hospitalization, MCMH Medical Director Dr Simone Keizer told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.{{more}}

Keizer said the hospital, this country’s premier healthcare facility, is accommodating Elvis Browne, 46, of Redemption Sharpes, until his next-of-kin is ready to house him.

She, however, said non-medical personnel could provide the care he now needs.

Police yesterday confirmed to SEARCHLIGHT that they shot Browne on June 26, near the post office in Kingstown, but did not comment further because of ongoing investigations.

Browne was admitted to hospital June 26 and discharged on July 7, when he asked hospital staff to take him back to the abandoned building.

Keizer said that normally patients leave on their own, after being discharged.

Browne, however, needed transportation, since his legs were in casts.

He told hospital staff that he was living near the post office. “Is I who tell them take me back there,” he told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday at the MCMH.

Information reaching SEARCHLIGHT suggests that hospital staff did not know the circumstances in which Browne lived, when they transported him to the building requested.

But Browne said the “old, abandoned building” is his “home”.

In the meantime, he is occupying an “acute bed” at the hospital.

Keizer explained that the patients are sometimes abandoned at the hospital.

And with the Lewis Punnett Home, a facility for the indigent poor, being full, Keizer said that Browne is occupying a bed at the Male Surgical Ward that could be needed by an accident victim.

Keizer further explained that competent medical personnel assessed Browne on Thursday and decided that he only needed his cast changed.

But the hospital accommodated him Thursday night so that he could visit the Kingstown Clinic near the hospital Friday morning.

The hospital further accommodated him on Friday to allow his next-of-kin to prepare to accommodate him.

He was still in hospital midday yesterday.

“But we can’t throw him out,” Keizer told SEARCHLIGHT.

Asked what would happen if no one comes to take the sick man home, Keizer said “Then we are stuck with him and that is not fair.” (KXC)