SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A medical organization meeting in San Diego has stepped into the immigration reform debate, asserting that illegal immigrants should have access to health care so they don't spread dangerous diseases to others.
"Access to care for immigrants is a public health issue that should be of concern to all of us," said Dr. J. Fred Ralston, the president of the American College of Physicians, holding its Internal Medicine 2011 meeting at the San Diego Convention Center.
"Take the case of immigrants with tuberculosis - under the current system they may be afraid that going to a hospital to seek treatment would place them at risk for deportation," Ralston said. "If they decide to delay care because of this fear, it could increase the number of people exposed to
the disease exponentially."
The ACP called for a national policy on immigration and health care that:
- protects taxpayers for subsidizing health care insurance for illegal immigrants, but allows such migrants to purchase coverage;
- gives U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants the same access to health care as other children;
- federal government support for organizations providing uncompensated care;
- acknowledgment of the risk of undocumented migrants avoiding health care for fear of apprehension;
- understanding of a physician's ethical requirement to treat sick patients regardless of their legal status; and
- policies that do not foster discrimination based on immigrant status for health care purposes.
The doctors also acknowledged that the United States needed to control its borders, differentiate between legal residents and those who do not follow the rules, and that returning large numbers of illegal immigrants to their former countries would have public health consequences.
"Any national immigration policy will need to balance the legitimate needs and concerns to control our borders and to equitably differentiate in publicly supported services for those who fully comply with immigration laws and those who do not," Ralston said. "However, access to health care for immigrants is crucial to the overall population of the U.S. We all have a vested interest in ensuring that all residents have access to necessary care."
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.