Thursday, June 18, 2015

The hospital needs a name change

Down on Long Island there is a clinic run by Good Samaritan Hospital. It has refused a patient with end stage renal disease a kidney transplant from her husband because she is an undocumented immigrant.
Ruth Villalta has end-stage renal disease. Her husband’s kidney could be a match for her — but the Long Island, New York clinic where she gets her dialysis treatment won’t allow her to receive a kidney transplant. That’s because both Villalta and her husband are undocumented immigrants.

As the New York Daily News reports, “doctors at her dialysis clinic in Lindenhurst, run by Good Samaritan Hospital, initially discussed a transplant with her, but stopped the process when she said she was here illegally.” A Good Samaritan Hospital spokeswoman told ThinkProgress that officials could not comment on the case because, as of January 2015, a different organization took over responsibility of the dialysis center.

Villalta came to the United States in 2009 with her husband and worked at a pharmaceutical factory before she became sick. When she had a miscarriage when she was five months pregnant in 2013, she discovered that she had renal failure in both kidneys. She’s been dependent on dialysis treatment ever since...

In New York State, emergency Medicaid and charity care is available for undocumented immigrants like Villalta. Emergency Medicaid coverage includes a twice-weekly dialysis treatment needed to flush out toxins and remove excess salt and water from the body. The treatment “may end up costing the state and federal government far more than the price of transplant surgery. Costs vary, but the federal government’s Medicare program spends about $106,000 for a kidney transplant per patient and $72,000 each year on someone getting dialysis,” New York Daily News stated, using data from the U.S. Renal Data System.
Good Samaritan Hospital can dodge responsibility now that they sold off the clinic. Nevertheless it might do those associated with the hospital to review the origin of the term "good samaritan".


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