Doctors were allegedly locked out of a Texas hospital and were forced to take care of patients in the parking lot.
New reports obtained by KHOU 11 say the incident happened because the owners failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent on time. While health officials were locked out, a note was reportedly on the door that explained how the tenant owed about $1 million in rent.
“Please be advised that the door locks to the leased premises have been changed and tenant shall be excluded therefrom due to non-payment of rent,” the note read.
Family physician Dr. Felicity Mack was shocked to learn that she was locked out of the facility.
“We showed up around 8 this morning, myself and my staff, to get ready ... we were told we were not allowed in the building anymore,” Mack said. “We weren’t given notice to take care of our patients and let them know so I’ve got patients that continue to show up today that I was supposed to see.”
Mack said she had to turn to other alternatives to take care of the hospital's patients.
“I’m treating patients out in the parking lot so that at least we can get them some sort of care,” Mack said. “But we really just want to be able to care for our patients.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), representing the state’s 18th Congressional District, said no one answered the doctors’ pleas to get inside the hospital. The representative also explained how officials were not allowed inside to get their belongings.
“It’s ironic that in the middle of the pandemic of COVID-19 when one of the patients locked out was a COVID-19 patient, that this dastardly act of confusion would occur,” Jackson Lee said.
Jackson Lee said some repercussions might happen due to the interruption of medical care. She also said she would “be looking into any procedures that the hospital did not properly follow and the response to such on behalf of the doctors and patients.”
KHOU 11 reported that reporters reached out to the bankruptcy attorney listed on the notice but have not received a statement.