Statement From RN Elizabeth Jazon Of 1199SEIU On Florida AHCA, Executive Order Demanding Patient Immigration Information For Partisan Political PurposesMay 31, 2022
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“Doctors, nurses and other hospital workers are committed to provide the very best care possible to their patients. It’s an oath we take, and are bound by law, no matter the immigration status or other circumstances of the patient.
We are also required to protect our patients’ privacy.
The executive order from the governor’s office and demands from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to report patients’ immigration status and the costs associated with their care, both violate these important medical, moral and legal tenets. This is especially heartfelt to me as an immigrant from Haiti and a Registered Nurse taking care of Floridians for the past 26 years.
These government decrees from Tallahassee, motivated purely by partisan politics, are particularly irresponsible during the unprecedented and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Who knows how many people infected, in need of emergency services, pre-natal care or otherwise will skip critical treatment for fear of their personal information handed over to state bureaucrats? As well, hospital personnel who are still scrambling in the middle of this historic public health emergency have much more pressing and earnest matters to handle than intrusive, ill-intentioned paperwork.
We are caregivers. We shouldn’t be bullied into violating our principles, our patients’ and the public’s trust, nor the law, to satisfy a cynical political agenda or talk show message point.”
Elizabeth Jazon is a Registered Nurse in Miami and Rank & File Officer for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida.