Nurse Says Fired for Being Mental Patient

SYDNEY, June 25 (UPI) — An Australian nurse says he was fired for being a former patient at the same mental health clinic where he worked.

The New South Wales Nurses Association has lodged a claim for unfair dismissal on behalf of Alistar Colgrave, 37, who was let go after his first shift at Northside Clinic, a mental health facility where he had been admitted voluntarily for medication-resistant depression, the Sydney Morning Herald reports in its Saturday edition.

“I didn’t have a mental breakdown or anything. In fact, I worked right up until my admission,” Colgrave said. ”I only went in for some prophylactic help because I’ve had depression on and off for years and my doctor suggested [electroconvulsive therapy].”

Upon release from the hospital Colgrave answered an ad for work, the newspaper said.

”I was interviewed and asked where I’d like to work,” he said. ”I chose Northside because I’d been in there and I thought it gave me a unique perspective on what the patients were going through.”

The director of clinical service, Paul Dolan, allegedly said it was a conflict of interest and turned down Colgrave’s request to work at one of the other 26 mental health clinics owned by Northside’s home company, Ramsay Health Care.

“The hospital had exercised its right not to re-engage this casual employee,” Carmel Monaghan, a spokeswoman for Ramsay Health Care, said. For privacy reasons, she could not disclose the reason for the decision.

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