Psychiatric Hospital Nurses: Patients' Stays Extended to Raise Revenues

Two nurses claim Tirat Carmel psychiatric hospital's policy was to extend patinents' stays as long as possible in order to raise money.

Care providers at the psychiatric hospital in Tirat Carmel have stated that the hospital's policy is to extend patients' hospital stays as long as possible in order to raise revenue, often times against the patient's own best interests.

Two senior nurses at the hospital stated that their institution's policy was to stretch as many hospitalization days as possible out of each patient and to try to discharge as few as possible.

"We spoke to the administration and told them that we were hospitalizing patients that don't need our treatment," said one of the two nurses. The nurse stated that a department head told him in response that "If we do otherwise, we won't have any work. This is our livelihood."

Y, 17, suffers from a minor mental disability and behavioral problems. Two weeks ago, his mother requested to hospitalize him at the hospital following the recommendation of the boy's school principal.

Shortly thereafter, the mother discovered that her son's problems do not typically require hospitalization and she requested that hospital management discharge her son from care.

"He waved his hands at me and told me if I took him home today, they won't accept him again for care later," Y's mother stated.

One of the two nurses who complained about the hospital, S, described how the hospital's policy was to demand that parents bring their hospitalized children back to the institution by Saturday evening after weekend breaks and to not allow any children to stay home until Sunday.

S stated that this policy was purely in order to raise money, considering that a single day of hospitalization costs close to NIS 850.

Hospital manager Dr. Alex Grinshpon denied the accusations made against the hospital stating, "We don't hold anyone against their will." According to Grinshpon, the hospital is devoted to working with the emotionally and mentally ill solely in order to rehabilitate them and return them to society.

Hospital staff have also complained that the hospital's patient retention policies have led to overcrowding in some departments and have even led to the hospitalization of a number of youths in geriatric units due to a lack of space.

Dr. Grinshpon added that every patient interested in being discharged from care should turn to management and file a request.

A hospital spokeswomen stated that "the length of a hospitalization is dependent only on the medical needs of the patient."