A probelm worth discussing nicely!

  1. So I saw a post where the question of illegal immigrants came up, and well frankly I think it is a good discussion if us...as professionals...can bring up good points and discuss ideas on how we as nurses can help heal the sick, yet be fair to our system of healthcare that can't take on people that are illegal here, or people that cheat or don't pay taxes (you don't have to be illegal to skimp on your taxes!).

    Lets not make this a flame okay...just good discussion please!

    Now I live in an area that is full to the brim of illegal immigrants of hispanic orgin. We are a small farming community that is growing in leaps and bounds and actually pushing out the farming for houseing developments and really hurting the migrant (legal or not) laborers. Some can no longer get jobs because many of the farms that needed them are houseing complexes now. So they typically have no money and no place to go!

    So, my hospital founded two clinics to help them get care instead of taxing the ER (which we are still having probelms with with too much overflow!). This has helped tremendously...but with the recent change in the enviroment and population boom...well...we still can't keep up!

    What to do is the question we so want answers to! Most people here will complain about illegal status folks, but will typcially admit that they need help too and we must find a way to accomidate that! (which is nice really!).

    Since you can not use medical information to call the authorities on illegal status (HIPAA remember! and it is a confidentiality breach big time!), and you can't turn anyone away whatsoever from the ER...what needs to change?

    Maybe new laws concerning treatment in hospital? Maybe a new law concerning reporting illegal folks in hospitals and informing the INS? What if we treated them, but they have to be taken out by the INS?

    Gosh...I don't know..but I do know it is a serious problem..eithical and financial...

    YOUR THOUGHTS?
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  2. 91 Comments

  3. by   Antikigirl
    Oh and I forgot to mention that my community hospital also has three fund raisers a year...totally done by volunteers of our communities to raise funds for our clinics and for help with folks that can't pay...regardless of legal status. They are actually gaining popularity and becoming some of the must go to fundraisers in our state!

    One is a wine festival (we have lots of vinayards now, and that is helping to provide work for field laborers) of local wines. Dinner is prepaired by the areas greatest chefs and wine tasting. This fundraiser has helped so very much for everyone concerned...but it is a bandaid on the problem and we know it. Something more needs to be done to help people that don't have the ablility to pay or using assistance...but deal with tax evaders or illegals who are using the system up.
  4. by   DaFreak71
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    So I saw a post where the question of illegal immigrants came up, and well frankly I think it is a good discussion if us...as professionals...can bring up good points and discuss ideas on how we as nurses can help heal the sick, yet be fair to our system of healthcare that can't take on people that are illegal here, or people that cheat or don't pay taxes (you don't have to be illegal to skimp on your taxes!).

    Lets not make this a flame okay...just good discussion please!

    Now I live in an area that is full to the brim of illegal immigrants of hispanic orgin. We are a small farming community that is growing in leaps and bounds and actually pushing out the farming for houseing developments and really hurting the migrant (legal or not) laborers. Some can no longer get jobs because many of the farms that needed them are houseing complexes now. So they typically have no money and no place to go!

    So, my hospital founded two clinics to help them get care instead of taxing the ER (which we are still having probelms with with too much overflow!). This has helped tremendously...but with the recent change in the enviroment and population boom...well...we still can't keep up!

    What to do is the question we so want answers to! Most people here will complain about illegal status folks, but will typcially admit that they need help too and we must find a way to accomidate that! (which is nice really!).

    Since you can not use medical information to call the authorities on illegal status (HIPAA remember! and it is a confidentiality breach big time!), and you can't turn anyone away whatsoever from the ER...what needs to change?

    Maybe new laws concerning treatment in hospital? Maybe a new law concerning reporting illegal folks in hospitals and informing the INS? What if we treated them, but they have to be taken out by the INS?

    Gosh...I don't know..but I do know it is a serious problem..eithical and financial...

    YOUR THOUGHTS?
    I miss Oregon. I am hoping to return in the next several years.

    I am glad you are bringing this up in a way that will stimulate conversation. One point that I need clarification on before I am able to participate in the debate is this:

    In what way does the illegal immigrant harm the nurses/doctors? Is it because they don't pay their bills and the trickle down effect might mean our wages are a little less than they might be if they all had insurance?
    Last edit by DaFreak71 on Jan 23, '07
  5. by   kimmie518
    Some diseases are prevelant in other countries. If the individual comes to American where the disease is non-existant, it puts healthcare workers at risk to developing the condition.
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from lostdruid
    I miss Oregon. I am hoping to return in the next several years.

    I am glad you are bringing this up in a way that will stimulate conversation. One point that I need clarification on before I am able to participate in the debate is this:

    In what way does the illegal immigrant harm the nurses/doctors? Is it because they don't pay their bills and the trickle down effect might mean our wages are a little less than they might be if they all had insurance?

    Hmm. The pay being a "little less" isn't really the concern. The concern is the entire hospital suffering finacially. In my town with almost a million population metro, we now have only 1 trauma center, because the other one could not afford to stay open directly caused by illegal immigration related costs.
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from xkimmie518x
    Some diseases are prevelant in other countries. If the individual comes to American where the disease is non-existant, it puts healthcare workers at risk to developing the condition.
    Of what, leprosy?

    What disease do we not have here that is being brought in by immigrants?

    A few years back there was a surge in tuberculosis, but we already had that.
  8. by   cardiacRN2006
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=43275



    Other health threats from illegals include, according to the report:
    • Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis or "kissing bug disease," is transmitted by the reduviid bug, which prefers to bite the lips and face. The protozoan parasite that it carries, Trypanosoma cruzi, infects 18 million people annually in Latin America and causes 50,000 deaths. The disease also infiltrates America's blood supply. Chagas affects blood transfusions and transplanted organs. No cure exists. Hundreds of blood recipients may be silently infected.
    • Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, was so rare in America that in 40 years only 900 people were afflicted. Suddenly, in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy. Leprosy now is endemic to northeastern states because illegal aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from India, Brazil, the Caribbean and Mexico.
    • Dengue fever is exceptionally rare in America, though common in Ecuador, Peru, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Mexico. Recently, according to the report, there was a virulent outbreak of dengue fever in Webb County, Texas, which borders Mexico. Though dengue is usually not a fatal disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever routinely kills.
    • Polio was eradicated from America, but now reappears in illegal immigrants as do intestinal parasites, says the report.
    • Malaria was obliterated, but now is re-emerging in Texas.
  9. by   kimmie518
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=43275



    Other health threats from illegals include, according to the report:
    • Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis or "kissing bug disease," is transmitted by the reduviid bug, which prefers to bite the lips and face. The protozoan parasite that it carries, Trypanosoma cruzi, infects 18 million people annually in Latin America and causes 50,000 deaths. The disease also infiltrates America's blood supply. Chagas affects blood transfusions and transplanted organs. No cure exists. Hundreds of blood recipients may be silently infected.
    • Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, was so rare in America that in 40 years only 900 people were afflicted. Suddenly, in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy. Leprosy now is endemic to northeastern states because illegal aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from India, Brazil, the Caribbean and Mexico.
    • Dengue fever is exceptionally rare in America, though common in Ecuador, Peru, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Mexico. Recently, according to the report, there was a virulent outbreak of dengue fever in Webb County, Texas, which borders Mexico. Though dengue is usually not a fatal disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever routinely kills.
    • Polio was eradicated from America, but now reappears in illegal immigrants as do intestinal parasites, says the report.
    • Malaria was obliterated, but now is re-emerging in Texas.

    Thank You!
  10. by   SuesquatchRN
    First, your source is questionable.

    Chagas has always been on this continent, as has malaria.

    Polio is reappearing in its "wild" form among isolated pockets of Americans who do not vaccinate, notably the Amish.

    Leprosy is curable and is not new.

    Dengue broke out in Texas, which was, uhm, Mexico not too long ago.

    Diseases do not respect arbitrary and artificial borders. "Canada" and "Mexico" are not abstract concepts that a virus is capable of grasping.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Other issues come from ignorance of the American health-care system. I am an APN who works in hemodialysis. I have only been here 7 months and have encountered two illegal aliens who have come from Mexico after the diagnosis of renal failure requesting a transplant. Both have been stunned that they aren't going to get a transplant of any kind. In fact, in both cases, they have received hemodialysis accesses, meds, hospitalization costs. Neither are being deported but both are leaving since their families in Mexico have got them on the Mexico social security system.

    It is very expensive to dialyze folks with no payor. Both of these patients were very young (in their 20's), very compliant with our requests. However, neither should have come to the US seeking a transplant. Yet...both gave the same story: they knew in the US they wouldn't be turned away.
  12. by   Tweety
    We've had several trauma cases that have stayed in the hospital months on end because they were illegal. Their country wouldn't take them, no nursing home would take them without benefits, family disappears, so inpatient acute care is where they stayed. Our hospital eventually paid a nursing home to take one man who was paralyzed and stayed inpatient over a year.

    There's no easy answer and I certainly can't propose anything. But like it or not, we as a society are paying for the health care of illegal immigrants because it's immoral not to.
  13. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from Suesquatch
    First, your source is questionable.

    Chagas has always been on this continent, as has malaria.

    Polio is reappearing in its "wild" form among isolated pockets of Americans who do not vaccinate, notably the Amish.

    Leprosy is curable and is not new.

    Dengue broke out in Texas, which was, uhm, Mexico not too long ago.

    Diseases do not respect arbitrary and artificial borders. "Canada" and "Mexico" are not abstract concepts that a virus is capable of grasping.
    Just because diseases are curable and old doesn't mean that they aren't coming into the US as a result of illegal immigration. You asked a question, and it was answered.

    So, we're only concerned with new, incurable diseases?

    http://www.usaid.gov/pubs/cbj2003/lac/
    The lack of economic opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean makes the region the number one source of illegal immigration into the United States, with 88% of illegal immigrants coming from these countries. An additional concern is the cross-border spread of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol6no1/pdf/v6n1.pdf
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman][FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]The recent introduction of DEN-3 (Dengue) in [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]Mexico
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]and [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]Central America[FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman] is of public health
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]importance because most of the population in the
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]tropical [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]Americas[FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman] is susceptible to infection with
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]this serotype (17,18). The presence of the vector,
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]the rapid spread of the virus, and increased air
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]travel and immigration contribute to the
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]possibility of future dengue transmission in the
    [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]continental [FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman]United States[FONT=NewCenturySchlbk-Roman] (19-21).


    Last edit by cardiacRN2006 on Jan 23, '07 : Reason: adding more info
  14. by   medsurgnurse
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Of what, leprosy?

    What disease do we not have here that is being brought in by immigrants?

    A few years back there was a surge in tuberculosis, but we already had that.
    drug resistant tuberculosis

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