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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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California dumping

May 18 2009
Authorities are investigating hospital staff caught on camera dumping patients in parts of Los Angeles Californian authorities are investigating hospital staff caught on camera dumping patients in parts of Los Angeles, USA. This phenomenon, which has been reported in the mainstream press both in the US and the UK, and in previous issues of The Pavement, involves hospital staff ejecting patients with no insurance and often no home, and leaving them on sidewalks around California's state capital. As there is no NHS in the US, patients without insurance are often unable to receive treatment from city hospitals. Authorities are investigating 55 cases of dumping in Skid Row, a controversial site downtown from the main city centre. One case involved a paraplegic man who was left in a gutter by staff, who were caught on camera. Another incident, this time caught on CCTV, involved an elderly lady who was wandering alone down a street, having been dropped off by a taxi, until she was taken in by a mission staff member. A spokesperson for the city attorney's office said: "We have been looking into homeless dumping for some time, and this [tape] gives us another example of what has been going on." California state and local officials said they are hoping to unveil proposed legislation which will make it a crime to leave homeless hospital patients on the streets. Meanwhile, former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, now the governor of California, has announced he is planning to cut $55m in funding for mentally ill people without permanent accommodation. The recently re-elected governor is working on a new piece of legislation regarding the funding of mental health services, which could include scrapping the entire programme. The move could result in nearly 5,000 people losing their right to overnight accommodation.