(Dallas, TX) – In response to the news a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas has tested positive for Ebola, Artemis Medical Society is issuing the following statement:
With the sad news one of our healthcare colleagues has tested positive for the Ebola virus in Dallas, Texas, Artemis Medical Society is calling on appropriate Federal and State agencies to immediately hold a discussion with all stakeholders to ensure front line healthcare providers and first responders are receiving proper information, training and equipment to address this serious public health issue.
As an organization that represents more than 3900 women physicians of color, a large majority of which are primary care physicians, we consider their safety a top priority. We believe any discussion on this current serious public health issue by our Federal and State agencies must also include a deliberate discussion on how we as a society can ensure the health and well-being of providers/responders and their families. Healthcare providers and first responders assume the hazards of their work. But many healthcare professionals and first responders are not necessarily employees with employee benefits like health insurance. If they become ill due to exposure, they assume complete responsibility and face certain economic and health hardships as a result.
These healthcare providers and first responders deserve to know: 1) what plans are or will be in place to ensure their healthcare expenses are covered if infected, 2) will they receive their full salaries if they do become infected, and 3) what benefits will be provided to their families if they contract and succumb to the Ebola virus as a result of workplace exposure.
As a society we are asking physicians, nurses, healthcare team members, police and firefighters to continue to do their jobs while understanding their work may lead to possible exposure to the Ebola virus. We owe it to all of them to ensure an honest and transparent discussion to address their concerns takes place. Providers, responders and their families deserve to be fully trained, equipped and protected in times of such health emergencies.
Malizy Scruggs, (469) 226-7131, firstname.lastname@example.org
William Schlitz, (510) 701-0810, email@example.com