WATCH: Outrage as disturbed patient ‘frogmarched’ out
A mentally ill man who was "frogmarched" out of Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and left on a busy road wearing only a purple hospital gown had been admitted a day prior for hypothermia after being found in a swampy creek.
The Courier-Mail understands the man, known to health authorities and with a documented history of mental illness, was brought to hospital in a dire state on Sunday.
Queensland Health has confirmed the man was naked and they gave him a gown when discharged on Monday afternoon.
A woman who was in the emergency department and filmed the man's brutal exit from the hospital the second time has told of her outrage at his alleged treatment.
Mother of three Hayley Birtles-Eades, 42, said the man was clearly unwell and disoriented but was "frogmarched" out and on to busy Bowen Bridge Rd.
The man can be heard moaning and wailing before he is physically marched out of the hospital.
"You've been discharged - let's go, come on … you're going ... off," one guard can be heard saying.
Ms Birtles-Eades called triple-0 and the Queensland Ambulance Service has confirmed they transported the man back to the same hospital.
"How many times does a person have to ask for help before they get it? How bad do you have to be - dead?" said Ms Birtles-Eades, whose sister suffers severe mental health problems.
"The hospital can fix broken bones, but if you've got a broken brain, you're stuffed".
A Queensland Health spokesman told The Courier-Mail the man came into the hospital naked so they gave him a gown to wear after notifying his GP and discharging him.
Ms Birtles-Eades said that should have been a red flag.
"If the man had no clothes, surely that was a sign he was not in a good state," she said.
"Yet some idiot at the RBWH signed off on him, saying he was OK, what's the point of calling it health care when that's not what you're doing?"
Ms Birtles-Eades, a brand strategist, was in the emergency department after her husband suffered a suspected mini-stroke.
She believes she was there for another reason - to expose injustice and "how NOT to be decent human beings".
She says the hospital also asked her to stop filming what was happening because it was "illegal".
"If what I've done is illegal, arrest me, I don't care. And if I'm getting attention for this, great! How dare security march him through an entire room full of people for doing nothing wrong other than being unwell.
"I switched off my camera when I realised they were not taking him to safety, to a car that could take him to a (mental health) facility to take care of him. They just left him there, so I called the ambulance."
Queensland Health MInister Steven Miles said he had asked the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic and Queensland Health Director-General John Wakefield to look into the circumstances of the case and to provide urgent advice about whether they believed "it was appropriately handled or whether there are further steps that should be taken".
"I would hope to get a briefing from them late today," Mr Miles said on Wednesday.
"It's cause for concern. I don't want to jump to any conclusions. I don't want to rush to any kind of judgment. I also know that mental health presentations can be incredibly complex.
"Obviously, the footage is concerning but our hospitals deal with an incredible array of different circumstances and just one picture, one video can't do justice to the efforts that our staff go to to take care of everyone who goes to our hospitals, including those who are mentally ill."
Originally published as Watch: Outrage as disturbed hospital patient 'frogmarched' out