October 6, 2020

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See speaker slides

On October 6, 2020, NYHealth hosted a webinar on how health care providers can protect their patients in the face of uncertain immigration policies.

The detrimental impact of immigration officials’ presence and enforcement actions at health care facilities is especially acute during the pandemic. Jarring incidents have become more common—patients shackled to beds and not permitted to use restrooms, physicians pressured to prematurely discharge patients into unsafe facilities, or agency vehicles parked conspicuously near hospital entrances—and physicians and staff often do not know what rights they may have to challenge these practices.

To better inform health care providers of their rights, the rights of their patients, and the steps they can take to protect their patients and ensure access to care without fear or discrimination, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) recently co-published a report, “Health Care Providers: Preserve Access to Care and Protect Your Patients from Border Patrol and ICE Interference.” This guide offers best practices on how to prepare for and respond to enforcement actions by immigration officials; interactions with law enforcement that could result in immigration consequences for their patients; and law enforcement presence that deters access to care.

Kathryn Hampton, M.St., Senior Officer, Asylum Program at PHR and Leo Lopez III, M.D., M.H.S., Director of Health Equity at NYC Health + Hospitals and Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University School of Medicine shared strategies that have been implemented in health care settings to protect patients and discussed the importance of expanding patient protection policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the webinar recording here.


PHR policy brief: Not in my Exam Room: How U.S. Immigration Enforcement Is Obstructing Medical Care

JAMA research article: Assessment of Perspectives on Health Care System Efforts to Mitigate Perceived Risks Among Immigrants in the United States, A Qualitative Study

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