'Appalling' Photo Of Elderly Woman Left To Lie On Hospital Floor Leaves People Outraged
A photo of an 84-year-old woman lying on a hospital floor has gone viral, after she was told there were no beds for her.
The woman's son, Neil MacLachlan, shared a photo on Facebook of his mother on Thursday, curled up beneath a blanket on the floor with a pillow under her head.
His mother was rushed to Geraldton Regional Hospital, in Western Australia, in an ambulance due to kidney pains. MacLachlan claimed she was unable to sit upright in a chair due to the "unbearable" pain, but hospital staff said there were no beds available.
Instead, he claimed hospital staff offered a blanket and pillow, for her to rest on the floor.
"Arrived in Ambulance and tipped out to wait on floor!" he said in a comment under the post.
"Fortunately the ordeal came to an end after 2 hours when an aged care worker based at the hospital found out what the situation was and promptly saw that a bed was made available."
The woman, who wished to remain unnamed, told the ABC while she hoped the situation might serve as a message, she would not make a formal complaint against the hospital.
"It is very hard for them," she told the national broadcaster.
"They are under their own pressures and I suppose I understand that. They seem like they need more help, more beds."
The image has been shared on Facebook more than 3000 times and collected hundreds of outraged comments.
On Friday, WA health minister Roger Cook added his own response to the post, admitting the situation was unacceptable.
"I have just spoken with your mother on the phone and apologised unreservedly as Minister for Health," he wrote.
"The situation your mother found herself in at Geraldton Hospital yesterday is appalling and unacceptable."
Cook said he had asked for an "urgent" meeting with the hospital to ensure the situation doesn't happen again.