Immigrants in Need of Transplants Protest UIC Medical Center (UPDATE)

UIC Medical Center unlawfully denies life-saving kidney transplants to local residents

CHICAGO, IL – Community members, patients and immigrant rights advocates will gather to publically denounce the University of Illinois Medical Center for  unlawfully denying life-saving kidney transplant services to immigrants residing in the state of Illinois.

What: Press Conference to Protest and Denounce UIC Medical Center

Where:  1740 W Taylor St, Chicago IL

When: Wednesday, March 25, 11:30 AM

Activists, patients and community members state that UIC Medical center has denied transplant services to Jesus Reyes and Salvador Garcia, both patients on dialysis who desperately need kidney transplants.  “We will denounce their immoral and illegal actions of discriminating against our undocumented community,” said Father Jose Landaverde over a phone interview in the subject matter.

Why?

Most immigrants are considered ineligible to apply for comprehensive medical benefits and remain considered “uninsurable”, denied even the most basic access to health care. However, in October 2014,  Senate Bill SB741 was passed which guarantees that Illinois residents will receive kidney transplants regardless of their current immigration status or insurance status. The law provides that the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services will fully fund kidney transplants for all patient who reside in Illinois and who are under dialysis, including people who are undocumented or cannot otherwise qualify for medical benefits.

“This law represents a victory for our communities” stated Father Jose Landaverde from the Faith, Hope and Life Mission, “a victory that was won by many undocumented patients and their families who went on hunger strikes and lost their lives fighting for a more just law. We are going to make these health care provider institutions accountable to the people; we demand immediate transplant services from University of Illinois Medical Center to Jesus Reyes and Salvador Garcia, as well as to the many being unlawfully denied due to their immigration or insurance status” he concluded.