Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

No slowdown in influx of Mexican patients
Arizona Daily Star ^ | 12/16/2002 | Tim Steller

Posted on 12/16/2002 6:37:19 PM PST by ex-Texan

No slowdown in influx of Mexican patients

[From special news section entitled "The Border -- Immigration, Trade, Crime, Culture and Politics"]

By Tim Steller

NOGALES, Ariz. - Immigration inspectors are trying to limit the number of poor Mexican patients they wave across the border to Arizona hospitals, but there's no evidence the effort is working.

Tucson Medical Center is on pace this year to treat more patients given medical waivers -or, humanitarian parole - at the border than it did last year.

The hospital treated 25 such patients last year at a cost to TMC of $1.5 million, said Robert Guerrero, the market administrator handling cross-border patients for TMC. Through the first nine months of this year, the hospital had treated 23 paroled patients at the same cost, $1.5 million.

Meanwhile, the long-term solution offered by Arizona hospitals to the problem of health care for Mexico's poor is stalled. The hospitals have offered donated medical equipment to Nogales, Sonora, medical facilities as part of an attempt to upgrade the city's health care system.

But for months Mexican customs has not permitted much of the equipment across the border. A pair of donated ambulances have been sitting most of the year in the parking lot of a Nogales, Ariz., warehouse, and their tires are beginning to flatten.

Arizona hospital officials have long complained of the bills they are forced to absorb when they treat people injured while crossing the border illegally. More recently, they've complained they are receiving too many patients who do not have proper documents to enter the United States but are granted humanitarian parole by the Immigration and Naturalization Service at ports of entry.

The INS is trying to minimize the number of people it paroles, said Gregory Burcham, the assistant director of the Arizona district for inspections. Since Nov. 2001 any requests for humanitarian parole must be approved by him or a higher-ranking INS official in Phoenix - not just a border inspector.

The INS does not track the number of humanitarian paroles it grants at given ports of entry, or in the state as a whole, said spokesman Russell Ahr. Burcham estimated he approves four such requests per week.

But Burcham said even when trying to limit the number of paroles, the INS is caught in a dilemma. The rule on humanitarian paroles is that people are to be allowed into the country only if they can pay for the medical treatment they will receive. But inspectors are sometimes faced with people who will not survive if they are prevented from crossing.

"I had a guy last week kicked in the head by a horse in Sasabe (Sonora). Serious head trauma." Burcham said Tuesday. "He comes in. You and I pay for it. You want to say no and let him die? You want to say yes and get (criticized) because he's going to bankrupt the hospital?"

"If someone is dying in an ambulance, we're not going to hold them up," Burcham said.

Last week at Nogales, Wendy Buelna was waiting for approval of a humanitarian parole that would allow her to return to Sacramento, Calif., and be with her hospitalized son. The 4-year-old boy, Jonathan Hernandez, was burned over his entire body during a May car wreck in Nogales, Sonora.

After a few days at the Social Security hospital there, Northern California Shriners Hospital said it would treat the boy. Buelna, who also was burned in the crash, recalls the period vaguely but said she and her son were swept through the border without delay.

"Everything went very fast," Buelna said.

She spent the next six months in Sacramento on the humanitarian parole, returned briefly this month to Mexico, then was granted another waiver last week to return to Sacramento.

Guerrero said he and others in the Tucson medical world don't necessarily object to treating such patients. They simply want to be paid for it.

"It's the federal government that allows them in, and it's the federal government that requires us to treat them," Guerrero said.

Therefore, he said, the federal government should pay for the treatment.

U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain said during a visit to TMC on Dec. 4 that they plan to reintroduce a bill that would provide $200 million for the medical treatment of undocumented aliens. The bill does not specify that the money could also be used to reimburse the treatment of recipients of humanitarian parole.

U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe has also introduced two bills that would reimburse hospitals and ambulance service providers for unpaid services to injured border crossers.

Officials on both sides of the border agree the long-term solution to the problem is to improve medical care on the Mexican side of the border so that patients don't have to cross the line for treatment.

In November, Kolbe announced a $350,000 grant to buy new medical equipment for the General Hospital in Nogales, Sonora. The money is to be administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development and University Medical Center.

But a pre-existing program of donating used equipment is faltering at the border.

While cross-border shipments of donated equipment for a triage room have arrived at the General Hospital this year, additional shipments have been stalled in storage in Nogales, Ariz.

Among the stored equipment: examining tables, emergency-room beds, autoclaves for sterilizing instruments, an X-ray machine and a colposcope for cervix examinations, as well as the ambulances and smaller items such as surgical gloves.

The problem, apparently, is that Mexican customs officials are hewing strictly to their regulations, a priority of Mexican President Vicente Fox's administration.

"A lot of it has to do with President Fox's initiative to quell corruption," said Dr. Cecilia Rosales, the head of Arizona's Office of Border Health. "Intentions are good; it's just that it sort of impedes our efforts to improve the hospitals across the border."

Fernando Valdez, the director of protection services at Mexico's consulate in Nogales, Ariz., said donors used to be able to go through consulates to get their materials across the border. But that isn't what the customs regulations demand.

"Now they're applying the law more strictly," he said.

* Contact reporter Tim Steller at 434-4086 or at steller@azstarnet.com.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Mexico
KEYWORDS: crime; immigrantlist; immigration; mexicanpatients; mexico; theborder

1 posted on 12/16/2002 6:37:19 PM PST by ex-Texan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
"I had a guy last week kicked in the head by a horse in Sasabe (Sonora). Serious head trauma." Burcham said Tuesday. "He comes in. You and I pay for it. You want to say no and let him die? You want to say yes and get (criticized) because he's going to bankrupt the hospital?"

So they just haul him across the border in an ambulance? (Pssst ! Don't tell aQ about this!)

2 posted on 12/16/2002 6:40:55 PM PST by ex-Texan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
Thank You for your courage.
3 posted on 12/16/2002 6:50:09 PM PST by BellStar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
this is happen in very State
4 posted on 12/16/2002 6:58:39 PM PST by FreeSpeechZone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
But for months Mexican customs has not permitted much of the equipment across the border.

The main problem right here. The Mexican government won't allow modernization of Mexico, it doesn't want good care for the average Mexican in Mexico. Doctors have to smuggle microscopes into Mexico because the government doesn't allow them in.

It does get a little hard to send an injured person away to die ---and they will die if left in Mexico because President Fox and the rest only pretend to care.

5 posted on 12/16/2002 7:08:15 PM PST by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
I know of a case in Santa Barbara, CA in which a female Mexican illegal alien was treated for a serious brain infection. Her family in Mexico found out that the treatment was given for free because the policy of the private hospital that treated her was to turn no patient away. Now this hospital finds members of her extended family from Mexico arriving at their doors regularly for treatments of every kind which the hospital feels obligated to give them gratis.
6 posted on 12/16/2002 7:10:40 PM PST by rimmont
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
I have no problem in providing medical care to all, but they should pay for it, either as individuals or in the aggregate. If the individual has enough money to pay for his care, great. If not, then the society that is responsible for them should pay. To be explicit: as a nation, we should annex whatever Mexican land, oilfields, or whatever else it takes to pay for all the services we give to Mexicans. If the Mexican government objected, then we should just dump those Mexicans across the border, and make it clear that it's the Mexican government to blame for our refusal to provide care.

I know that'll never happen, but it seems like the only fair solution to me. Mexico pays for the services we provide to its population, and our people get paid for the work they do.
7 posted on 12/16/2002 7:12:28 PM PST by Jubal Harshaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
The hospital treated 25 such patients last year at a cost to TMC of $1.5 million, said Robert Guerrero, the market administrator handling cross-border patients for TMC. Through the first nine months of this year, the hospital had treated 23 paroled patients at the same cost, $1.5 million.

This is working out to about 60,000$ per patient.Can this be right?

8 posted on 12/16/2002 7:30:01 PM PST by kennyo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kennyo
Isn't this "Two-Party Cartel" with its NAFTA, GATT, & loose immigration policy WONDERFUL. I think you all should just continue with these wonderful pols that care nothing about your security (financial or defense wise). Be sure & elect them back in next time & do't let that pubbie majority fool ya. Someone or another event will put the congress back in liberal/commie hands. That's what the puppetires of these "bought & paid for" want & the hell with you sheeple who 80% want the borders secured. Put some ice on it & come out next election to see the unpresidented 95% + incumbants being re-elected. Then see how much more money this kooks can steel from you.
9 posted on 12/16/2002 7:53:11 PM PST by Digger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: *immigrant_list
bump
10 posted on 12/16/2002 8:46:04 PM PST by The Obstinate Insomniac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: madfly
ping
11 posted on 12/16/2002 9:02:40 PM PST by Fish out of Water
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
"A lot of it has to do with President Fox's initiative to quell corruption,"

Dr. Cecilia Rosales should join the liar's club. Vicente Fox has no intention of quelling corruption. His only interest is sending his excess baggage to America and having us pay for it.

12 posted on 12/16/2002 10:13:56 PM PST by janetgreen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kennyo
The hospital treated 25 such patients last year at a cost to TMC of $1.5 million, said Robert Guerrero, the market administrator handling cross-border patients for TMC. Through the first nine months of this year, the hospital had treated 23 paroled patients at the same cost, $1.5 million.

This is working out to about 60,000$ per patient.Can this be right?

Shameless, isn't it? On the one hand you got Mexico unwilling to shoulder it's responsibilities, on the other hand you've got our very own medical industry screwing taxpayers mercilessly, and on the 3rd hand you've got a two-party sytem which demands liberal immigration AND zero price caps. What's a poor, working stiff to do?

13 posted on 12/16/2002 11:35:02 PM PST by CatAtomic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Jubal Harshaw
"I know that'll never happen, but it seems like the only fair solution to me. Mexico pays for the services we provide to its population, and our people get paid for the work they do."

I have echoed the same sentiments on this forum and to my elected officials for years. Great minds Jubal Harshaw think alike!

14 posted on 12/17/2002 6:21:20 AM PST by BellStar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: madfly; Tancredo Fan
btttttttttttt
15 posted on 12/17/2002 6:22:10 AM PST by dennisw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Free the USA; Tancredo Fan; Marine Inspector; Ajnin; Fish out of Water; agitator; Tancred; Spiff; ..
ping
16 posted on 12/17/2002 4:02:00 PM PST by madfly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Free the USA; Tancredo Fan; Marine Inspector; Ajnin; Fish out of Water; agitator; Tancred; Spiff; ..
ping
17 posted on 12/17/2002 4:02:43 PM PST by madfly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sabertooth; Spiff; HiJinx; MissAmericanPie; CIBvet; AZHSer; AnnaZ; Mercuria; georgiabelle; ...
ping
18 posted on 12/17/2002 4:03:18 PM PST by madfly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cardinal4; ValerieUSA; Republicus2001; joltinjoe; KSCITYBOY; GlesenerL; montag813; muir_redwoods; ..
ping
19 posted on 12/17/2002 4:04:05 PM PST by madfly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: madfly
bump
20 posted on 12/17/2002 4:11:02 PM PST by Free the USA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ex-Texan
"He comes in. You and I pay for it. You want to say no and let him die? "

Let the Mexican hospitals take care of him, if they can't or won't, take it up with THEIR government"

21 posted on 12/17/2002 4:16:51 PM PST by SAMWolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf
The ambulances should be stopped at the border and the INS should quit handing out medical visas which they know will be used to obtain free health care. They have plenty of hospitals in Mexico. They can start using them.
22 posted on 12/17/2002 4:20:18 PM PST by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: *immigrant_list; madfly
"U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain said during a visit to TMC on Dec. 4 that they plan to reintroduce a bill that would provide $200 million for the medical treatment of undocumented aliens."

$200 million is a pathetic drop in the bucket. One illegal could easily rack up a million dollars in care. The answer is to turn them around at the border, and point them at a Mexican hospital. Next they'll be demanding cross-border rapid transit lines to our hospitals. (And we'll probably be fool enough to build them.)My Christian solution is: build them a few hospitals on their side of the border, - yes. Send them medical missionaries? Yes. Send them donated medical supplies, - - yes. But let them in to fill up our hospitals with us paying? No. I like to pick my charitable donations, not have them pick me.

23 posted on 12/17/2002 4:39:50 PM PST by holyscroller
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FITZ
If I only went on my own experience in Mexico to come up with a reason they won't let the medical equipment across the border, I'd have to conclude, that no one had been bribed yet.
24 posted on 12/17/2002 4:52:14 PM PST by Ditter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: madfly
Stupid question, but why is it that we don't demand (or just take) Mexican crude oil as compensation for all of this?
25 posted on 12/17/2002 5:05:09 PM PST by Paulie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: madfly
I don't say it enough... thanks for pinging these items!
26 posted on 12/17/2002 5:53:06 PM PST by humblegunner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: madfly
Prop 187, if Davis was out, it would have been defended in the courts of CA and all that money would stay with the citizens instead of illegals.
27 posted on 12/17/2002 8:18:51 PM PST by A CA Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: kennyo
There was one in San Diego several years ago who ended up getting a liver transplant courtesy of the state of California. The total cost to taxpayers for treating this guy was close to $2 million FOR ONE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT.
28 posted on 12/18/2002 11:22:32 AM PST by 3AngelaD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson