A Maltese emergency patient at Mater Dei was suddenly discharged from the hospital at 2am and left to wait outside in the cold on a bus stop because of COVID-19 regulations.
“Not even an animal should be left in the street, in the cold at two in the morning, let alone an emergency room patient who was unconscious just hours ago,” the husband of the patient told Lovin Mata.
The patient in question was taken by ambulance to Mater Dei at 4pm on 5th November after suffering a collapse. No one can accompany patients in the ambulance or upon admission because of virus protocols, so hospital staff asked for the patient’s husband’s contact number to keep him updated on his wife’s condition.
“After hours of silence, I contacted the hospital myself and was informed that she still hasn’t been looked at and to call back in half an hour. At 8.45pm, I was informed that she was in stable condition and that I would be updated with results,” he explained.
At 9.45pm, he was told his wife would be kept under observation overnight. He asked to kept informed should something arise.
But three hours later at 2am, he received a call from his wife that she had been discharged from the hospital and left waiting on a nearby bus stop.
Her release was confirmed by medical staff, who said she could remain in Mater Dei’s waiting room until necessary. However, a security officer asked her to wait outside because of COVID-19 regulations.
“This is how patients are treated. I know security is not the fault of the hospital, but it is a service under Mater Dei,” he warned.
“So while I would like to thank doctors and ambulance staff – it is shameful and disrespectful that patients are discharged at such hours and left to wait outside.”
The couple has sent a letter to Health Minister Chris Fearne about the incident.
Meanwhile, asked about current Mater Dei procedure for non-virus patients, a ministry spokesperson told Lovin Malta said that “only patients requiring hospitalisation are admitted to Mater Dei Hospital”.
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