A hospital near Arizona's southern border is facing a financial crisis on account of the thousands of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, and its president and CEO is now taking to the media to help draw attention to the issue since so many governmental leaders have refused to address it.
Dr. Robert Transchel, who specializes in public health, is the president and CEO of Yuma Regional Medical Center, the only hospital within 60 miles of the border town of Yuma, Arizona. On Sunday, Transchel appeared with Rachel Campos-Duffy on "Fox & Friends Weekend" to discuss the financial strain the hospital has been under for at least the last 12 months.
"We tracked our uncompensated care for a period of over six months," Transchel said, "and we calculated that we've provided over $20 million in uncompensated care to the migrants crossing the border."
Not only are many patients not paying for the care they receive, Transchel explained, but the hospital has had to increase staff to keep pace with the increased patient load. The Epoch Times reported that Yuma Regional treated 4,400 more patients last year than it had the year before.
Some illegal immigrants also require specialized care that Yuma Regional cannot provide, which means the hospital must then absorb the cost of transporting those patients, sometimes by "air ambulance," to other facilities.
"So that $20 million is just the care that we've provided that we're not compensated [for]," he said. "The other infrastructure that we've had to add is uncompensated as well, obviously."
Transchel claimed that he and other hospital executives have reached out to various political leaders at the local, state, and federal levels, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, all to no avail. "Everybody is sympathetic, and everybody lends a listening ear, but nobody has a solution," Transchel said.
Transchel also told Campos-Duffy that while illegal immigrants often receive free medical treatment, local residents in Arizona must pay for all of the services they receive and sometimes even have their care delayed when the hospital is overrun with migrant patients.
"We would have to delay some of the planned inductions for our [pregnant] residents because of that," Transchel previously told Fox News.
Despite the looming crisis, Transchel insisted that the hospital is financially solvent — for now. "We're fine today, and we'll be fine tomorrow," he said. "The problem is, if this continues, it's going to build up, and it's going to continue to be a problem."
"[W]e just don't have a payer source for those individuals," Transchel stated. "It's not a sustainable model to have these continued rising expenses without a revenue source to offset that."
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