After a wheelchair-bound patient apparently suffering from tuberculosis was rolled out of a hospital and into the freezing streets of Rostov-on-Don, where he was reportedly left to die, two hospital employees have been fired and a criminal investigation has been launched.
A video released online this week shows the patient, 63, being wheeled outside of the city's Hospital No. 8, news site 161.ru reported. Two hospital personnel are seen pushing his chair out into a courtyard and then out of range of the camera.
The man reportedly died of hypothermia hour and a half later, with temperatures hovering around zero degrees Celsius. As a result of the incident, a doctor and a medical assistant have lost their jobs, 161.ru reported.
The Rostov regional branch of the Investigative Committee said in a statement Tuesday that they have launched an inquiry into the incident.
The man, who is believed to have been homeless, was reportedly undergoing treatment in the hospital for tuberculosis. The story was originally scooped by online tabloid Bloknot, which said that "doctors threw away the dying patient like a piece of trash."
Regional investigators said they will investigate the claims made by journalists.
News site 161.ru cited the city's health department as saying that the patient was released from the hospital after treatment and was brought outside to be picked up by a friend.
Earlier this month, a team of paramedics in St. Petersburg was fired and faced criminal charges after being caught on video dragging an incapacitated patient along a city sidewalk.
That incident outraged Russia's top healthcare official, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, who ordered the Federal Health and Social Development Inspection Service to conduct an investigation.
In 2013, a physician in the Siberian city of Perm was caught on camera pounding on the chest of a heart surgery patient who later died. The physician described the incident in subsequent media interviews as an outburst brought on by long working hours and stress. He was sentenced last year to five months of community service and a 100,000 ruble fine.