Gov. Sandoval, Dems speak out on 'patient dumping' controversy - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Gov. Sandoval, Dems speak out on 'patient dumping' controversy

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An investigation alleges more than 1,500 patients were shipped out from the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5) An investigation alleges more than 1,500 patients were shipped out from the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

On the heels of an announcement by the city of San Francisco that it is launching an investigation into Nevada's mental health practices, Gov. Brian Sandoval has issued a statement on so-called patient dumping.

A Las Vegas-based psychiatric hospital is accused of putting more than 1,500 patients on buses and shipping them out to other states.

It's alleged that 500 of those patients ended up in San Francisco. The allegations came to light in an article by the Sacramento Bee.

"In early March, it came to my attention that in at least one instance, discharge policies and procedures were not followed at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas. In light of this information, my administration took immediate and voluntary action and initiated three separate investigations," Sandoval wrote.

"As a result of our investigations, disciplinary actions have been taken and a corrective plan of action was put into place at Rawson-Neal," Sandoval continued. "The new policy, which was put in place weeks ago, provides additional oversight to ensure that discharge and transportation policies are followed correctly."

The Nevada State Democratic Party pounced on the governor's statement, suggesting his term in office will be defined by the story. The following statement was received by FOX5 on Tuesday afternoon:

"The fact that it took over a month for the governor to issue a statement that again defends the facility facing the patient dumping allegations is disappointing even for an administration that has become defined by this scandal. The governor's statement misleads Nevadans by implying there was no policy of busing patients out-of-state when there is,in fact, a written policy still in place to this day. Governor Sandoval needs to fess up to Nevadans what his 2011 budget proposal already made clear- helping Nevadans with serious mental illnesses is not his priority."

Gov. Sandoval's entire statement is available here.

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