American Medical Association Spotlights NYLPI’s Medical Providers’ Network

January 18, 2019

Health Justice, Health in Immigration Detention, Immigrant Justice, Media Coverage, News

NYLPI’s groundbreaking work to provide better medical care to people in immigration detention—the Medical Providers’ Network—has drawn the attention of the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics this week.

You can find out more at our “Conversation About The War On Immigrants” event with the New York State Health Foundation on January  24th, (register here).

AMA researcher Clara Long cited our work in a viewpoint piece published this week, entitled “How Should Health Professionals and Policy Makers Respond to Substandard Care of Detained Immigrants?”. Here’s an extract:

More people, including children and pregnant women, are being detained for longer periods in a patchwork of over 200 detention centers around the country, most of which are private facilities or county jails. Human Rights Watch has documented systemic medical care failures at these facilities, including incompetent treatment, which is linked to patient deaths. Clinicians working in these facilities face formidable obstacles to providing adequate care, two of which are the Department of Homeland Security’s lack of reasonable alternatives to detention and insufficient staffing. Harm caused by these conditions and detention itself should be enough to prompt clinicians to insist that the government enable provision of care consistent with generally accepted standards, including through reducing the detained population.

We should not overlook the important role that medical institutions and practitioners can play in addressing substandard care in detention. State licensing boards can be an effective avenue for ensuring quality of care, particularly with respect to disciplinary proceedings against clinicians who practice outside the scope of their license. Clinicians can also seek to join medical-legal partnerships to find opportunities to help individual detained people. One such program is being developed by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI). As part of this program, NYLPI is recruiting qualified doctors nationally “to perform outside evaluations of detainees health conditions and current treatment regimens” in support of efforts to get individuals treated and released appropriately. Clinicians contributing to such efforts could well be ensuring that their patients do not join the list of people whose deaths are linked to substandard care in detention.

You can read the whole piece here. The piece links directly to our report on medical care in immigration detention, and to a presentation by our Director of Health Justice, Laura F. Redman.

If you’re a medical professional interested in the network, contact Lauren Quijano.


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