Freedom Folks

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Illegal immigrants pose burden on Del. hospitals

Source: Delaware Online
Insured pay higher rates, wait longer at emergency room

Four days a week, she takes to the streets, providing medical care out of a van, a sort of doctor’s office on wheels for Wilmington’s poor and uninsured — and the undocumented.

M. Eileen Schmitt, a doctor with St. Clare Medical Outreach, diagnoses diseases — two or three cases of diabetes a week — supplies medicine and gives vaccinations.

But what she doesn’t do is ask patients if they are in this country legally.

“My obligation is to care for people to the best of my ability,” Schmitt said. “We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.”

The van, operating on a budget of $259,000, helps cut down on the number of patients clogging St. Francis Hospital’s emergency waiting room. Also, by treating patients at the outset of an illness or injury, more costly health problems often can be prevented.

Of the 4,000-plus patients receiving care out of the van each year, Schmitt estimated that close to half are undocumented immigrants. And as that number increases, Schmitt said, she guessed the number of undocumented immigrants treated at St. Francis Hospital’s emergency room is rising, too.

“Undocumented immigrants are a significant portion of money the hospital spends that is not reimbursed,” she said……
The truth leaks out ever so slowly!

H/T immigration watchdog

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