More than 3,000 people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez in 2010 alone and many more wounded. Some of those wounded were able to cross the border into El Paso, Texas, the closest U.S. border city to the violence plague city, and received medial care. Some 200-wounded Mexicans have crossed into El Paso over the last three years.
A U.S. federal law mandates that anyone standing on U.S. soil must get emergency medical attention regardless of citizenship. As a result Mexican ambulances cross the local international bridge and take the victims of Juarez to the nearest Level 1 trauma center, the University Medical Center of El Paso.
This year the number of patients classified as “victims related to the violence in Mexico” is down. In 2009, 83 Mexican patients were seen and in 2010 an estimated 63 patients were seen. The cost to the hospital is high at $4.7 million for the past three years with reimbursement only a fraction at $1.2 million.
This information is coming to light as El Paso officials seek to get some federal funds from the border security bill to compensate for the medical treatment they rendered.