Medical Groups Worry Immigration Action Could Harm Patient Care

Some of the nation’s leading health groups are concerned that the Trump administration action on immigration could hurt patients by blocking U.S. entry to health professionals or those seeking treatment.

“We are concerned that, without modification, President (Donald) Trump’s executive order on immigration could adversely impact patient care, education and research,” said Rick Pollack, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association.

“We are hopeful that the administration will find solutions to preserve patient access to medical and nursing expertise from across the globe, ensuring care is not disrupted,” he added.

Andrew Gurman, president of the American Medical Association, said the group is “assessing the administration’s executive order and how it may affect physicians, medical students, residents and patient care.”

“Guidance is urgently needed from the administration to clarify that this order will not impact patient care or prevent travelers’ access to timely medical treatment,” he said.

The executive order, signed by Trump on Friday, has already caused problems in the health care industry. A Cleveland Clinic doctor with an H-1B visa for workers in “specialty occupations” was forced to return to Saudi Arabia over the weekend when she flew into New York because her passport is from Sudan, according to ProPublica.

Stat reported Monday that the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine had identified nearly two dozen patients who would be subject to the executive order, and were scheduled to receive medical care at two of U.S.’s top medical centers in the next 90 days.

The Association of American Medical Colleges said in a statement Monday it has concerns the order “will disrupt education and research and have a damaging long-term impact on patients and health care.”

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