TX border healthcare costing hospitals big bucks

BROWNSVILLE, TX (KMID/KPEJ) – Border control is already a hot button topic, but when healthcare is thrown into the mix it’s even more controversial.
Hospitals lining the Texas/Mexican border in particular, hit hard with immigrants who get treatment free of charge, according to Brownsville physicians.
Many of these patients, pregnant women in dire need of care.
“Patients crossing the border with abnormalities they don’t know they have, requiring special treatments to save baby or moms lives,” MCH OBGYN Director Dr. Avelino Garcia said.
He said many of these patients don’t have a choice when they’re facing life threatening complications, even if the care is costly.
“I think that more important than that is what is going to happen with that new American human being that is being born,” Dr. Garcia said.
In his eyes, he said the problem isn’t the amount of hospital dollars dished out for treatments.
“How we’re going to make sure those patients have excellent care that’s going to assure a great outcome as any other human being,” Dr. Garcia said.
He added giving the best care possible from Doctor to patient, to avoid complications, could save money in the long run so he said shifting focus from money to quality care is important.
But Brownsville physician Dr. Lorenzo Pelly said it comes at a price. He’s worked near the border for 33 years.
“Our own people, our own people, don’t get the medical care that they deserve,” he said.
Dr. Pelly said Americans are sacrificing their medical wellbeing, a problem his practices in Brownsville face often.
“I treat them with the best of care but I cannot help thinking how much resources we will be investing in this endeavor,” he said.
Dr. Pelly said he can’t count the amount spent treating patients free of charge yearly, many including emergency care for births where the children are born as American citizens.
“If I was an individual south of the border, I would love to have my baby here,” he said.
Although thousands of these patients have never been to the states before and often require an abundance of medical attention, Doctors say they still desire to treat them as their own no matter what.
“I try to be compassionate about their situation,” Dr. Garcia said.

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