Bring me your tired, your poor but not your sick – the motto it seems one US hospital is working under when it comes to the treatment of foreigners. In a case that has rocked the international medical industry to its core, an immigrant from Poland came out of a coma only to discover he had been kicked out of the country and shipped back home – while unconscious.
Wladyslaw Haniszewski woke up in the hospital of his home town of Boleslawiec, after treatment that’s been compared to the shipping of invaluable freight or livestock. He had previously been living in the United States for more than three decades and needed regular medical attention for a blood disease.
When staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital discovered that Haniszewski didn’t have the medical insurance required to cover his treatment, he was quick literally packaged up and carted off to Poland despite being incredibly frail and comatose. Polish nationals have reacted with fury and outrage to the barbaric treatment of the man, who they claim was seen by the hospital as nothing more than a ‘sack of potatoes’ with no value.
Boleslawiec hospital workers are also up in arms as they claim the Americans simply “dumped” Haniszewski on them without giving them even the slightest chance to evaluate what was going on and make preparations for him. As such, he is now costing the Polish hospital money as was the case in the America hospital that expelled him.
One of the most disgusting things of all is the way in which not a single one of Haniszewski’s friends or family were informed that he was being kicked out of the country. Instead, most didn’t have a clue that anything was happening until seven-days later.
His condition has left him without the ability to speak and had recently been communicating only with his smile. He was forced to move into a homeless shelter in New Jersey after he lost the job he had previously been holding down, but his deteriorating health would eventually get the best of him.
Human rights campaigners are livid with the inexcusable actions of the hospital and US authorities in general.
All US hospitals must in accordance with national law treat patients that are brought in as emergencies, but at the same time they can also send ‘undocumented patients’ back to their countries of origins through a process called ‘medical repatriation’.
The fact that they enforced this with a man in such a condition and while comatose has nonetheless shocked the world.