Illegal Scapegoating Creates Violent Potentials in E.R.

Regardless of personal politics, there are problems within the healthcare system of the United States. Everyone knows that’s true. The general public is upset and angry, looking for someone to blame, and at least a bit xenophobic. In conversations, online and off, every discussion seems to become a debate on the subject — one in which the Illegal aliens are an easy scapegoat.

Physicians will tell that one significant factor in the cost of high healthcare is the cost of Medical Malpractice insurance. When a new solo doctor is paying out a quarter of a million dollars a year, you can do the math to figure out what is being paid for. There’s no doubt that illegals and other poor people are filling up Emergency Rooms because they can’t afford office visits to acquire treatment for non-emergency conditions. But that treatment doesn’t account for anywhere near the woes the health care system is under.

More to the point, illegal aliens aren’t suing doctors and hospitals for malpractice. They’re ILLEGAL. They aren’t the ones milking the insurance companies for large settlements. They still represent a burden on healthcare system, but no more or less than other poor people (who likewise don’t make enough to be paying taxes, so there’s no difference, no culprit there.)

Many factors contribute to the high cost of health care. Poor people who can’t afford to pay are certainly a portion of that burden, but in no way are they the sole cause of it. Meanwhile, the anti-illegal alien sentiment denies them even even basic civil rights and decency, creating a hostility that is at least borderline dangerous for all patients at a facility. It is not uncommon these day for tensions escalate within the E.R. waiting areas, and for further violence to be perpetrated. In one case, a man with a fractured collar bone was greatly upset that he was triaged behind a supposedly illegal supposed “gangbanger” who was victim of a gunshot wound. The elder man’s only concern was that he was being made to wait for some “wetback.”

Within a declining economy, more such questions may be raised, and angry presumptions made. For the sake of all patients, it may be advisable to take steps to stave off these hostilities ahead of time. Indeed, both facility and physician might be at higher risk of being injured as well as being sued for a preventable incident of violence. Teaching that your facility operates within Federal guidelines and with both tolerance and compassion is one step which may reduce the likelihood of such incidents.

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