Minnesota Hospital Won’t Take Civilly-Committed Patients
BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) _ A Minnesota hospital says it will no longer take patients who are civilly-committed for psychiatric illness.
St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd says it will only accept patients who seek voluntary psychiatric treatment to its 16-bed behavioral health center. Reports say the hospital cites a lack of beds and staffing concerns as reasons.
Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper says she fears the move might lead other private hospitals to do the same.
Dr. Peter Henry is chief medical officer of Essentia Health. He says St. Joseph's mental health unit wasn't set up for civilly-committed patients. He says last year, 63 percent of the 451 people admitted to the unit were there involuntarily, leaving little room for others seeking help with suicidal thoughts or other mental illnesses.