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MEDIA ADVISORY: 05.17.12 Hastings Center launches website with resources on undocumented immigrants and access to health care

(Garrison, NY) Who are the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.? What are their greatest health care needs? How do they get health care now, and what are their barriers to obtaining needed care? How will the health care reform law affect their access to care, given that it prohibits them from purchasing private insurance through insurance exchanges?

A new website of The Hastings Center (www.undocumentedpatients.org) addresses these and many related questions and provides statistics, facts, and a wealth of resources.

The site is geared to journalists, policymakers, advocates, and anyone who is interested in issues concerning undocumented patients. It features:

  • issue briefs on the demographic and socioeconomic status of undocumented immigrants, their use of health care, and how U.S. policy affects their access to care
  • an interactive database of key resources featuring selected journal articles, policy studies, and media reports on undocumented immigrants, the health care safety net, and related issues
  • a news feed, updated continuously, with the latest developments on undocumented immigrants and their access to health care

In the coming months, new features will appear, including a special report on the arguments for providing health care to undocumented patients and offering an ethical framework for clinicians, health care organizations, and others who care for and advocate on behalf of this population. The website will also include updates on journal articles, presentations, and other project activities.

“Information and analysis about undocumented immigrants, their access to health care, and the status and prospects of the health care safety net that serves this and other vulnerable populations is hard to find in one place,” says project codirector Michael Gusmano, a research scholar at The Hastings Center. “This website aims to fill that gap.”

“As this public resource develops, it will also engage thoughtfully with the choices that we face as a society about how we think about and respond to the medical needs of a low-income immigrant population that has become part of our society,” adds project codirector Nancy Berlinger, also a Hastings research scholar.

The web­site is part of a Hast­ings Cen­ter research project that explores eth­i­cal, legal, and pol­i­cy­mak­ing chal­lenges that arise when undoc­u­mented immi­grants liv­ing in the United States need med­ical care. The project, funded by the Overbrook Foundation Human Rights Program, is directed by Berlinger and Gusmano.

Reporters who would like to interview Nancy Berlinger or Michael Gusmano should contact:

Michael Turton, Communications Associate
turtonm@thehastingscenter.org
(845) 424 4040 ext. 242.