Thursday 16 September 2021

Before attending undocumented patients, the Los Chiles Health Area called Immigration

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(QCOSTARICA) “With all undocumented patients, an immediate call should be made to 9-1-1 for the dispatch of the Immigration and Polic unit. Patients are not to be attended unless they do not go to Ebais (clinic)”.

“Only Costa Ricans, residents with documentary evidence in Costa Rica, are screened, otherwise screening for COVID-19 is not be done (…) undocumented non-Costa Rican patient must be considered positive for COVID until proven otherwise”.

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These two messages, with instructions on how to care for undocumented (illegal) foreign patients who came to request care in the Los Chiles Health Area, in Alajuela, generated annoyance among human rights organizations, which classified them as “discriminatory” and as a way to “encourage xenophobia”.

“We urge the State of Costa Rica to promote the human rights of the Nicaraguan migrant, refugee and refugee claimant population, as well as to provide medical care without discrimination,” said in a press release, the Center for Social Rights of the Migrant Person (Cenderos), the Jesuit Service for Migrants Costa Rica, the Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Never +, and the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil).

“(…) Furthermore, there is concern that denying the migrant population access to health services results in aggravated risks of contagion, not only for these people, but also for the rest of the Costa Rican population,” these organizations warned in a statement acknowledging Costa Rica’s efforts to contain the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among the population.

The Medical Management of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), through the press office, confirmed that the DGASLCH-000128-2020 instruction is nulled.

Since the beginning of the national emergency for COVID-19, Health authorities guaranteed access to care services for the entire population, regardless of their insurance status, nationality, or immigration status.

This, in order to protect public health because the interest is that those who consider themselves sick or suspicious cases, can go to the health services freely.

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“We urge the State of Costa Rica to promote the human rights of the Nicaraguan migrant population, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as to provide medical care without discrimination.

“We call on the Costa Rican authorities to have the best individual and collective disposition in dealing with migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and we ask them to maintain a responsible and timely commitment in each of the state institutions, avoiding social exclusion and stigmatization of the Nicaraguan population ”, mention the organizations in the bulletin.


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