Police and firefighters held a press conference today outside Ryder Trauma Center to oppose plans to privatize Jackson’s Emergency Room services and Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center.
“We don’t serve bankers, we don’t serve lobbyists, we serve patients,” City of Miami firefighter Troy Sutton said. “Don’t allow big money to privatize our public hospital or patients will suffer.”
Organizations from across the county were represented at the press conference, including Key Biscayne Fire Rescue, Dade County Police Benevolent Association, Metro-Dade Firefighters, City of Miami Firefighters and Coral Gables Police.
Police officers and firefighters told the media about their departments’ long-standing ties with Jackson caregivers. They work together daily to provide seamless care to the most complex and critical cases in Miami Dade County and beyond – from gunshot victims, car accidents, sexual assault cases and more.
“We work as a team to keep this community safe and healthy,” President Martha Baker, RN, said. “Any attempt to privatize Jackson and change the mission of our public hospital is offensive and must be stopped.”
Rowan Taylor, President of the Metro-Dade County Firefighters, said he and 3,000 firefighters and paramedics from across the county stand in firm opposition to privatizing Jackson’s ER. Taylor said Jackson is the last and only stop for uninsured and undocumented patients who can’t get care anywhere else.
“Many times, we transport uninsured patients from other local ERs to Jackson,” Taylor said. “Other hospitals are only required to give the minimum amount of care to stabilize them and then the patients end up at Jackson, the safety-net hospital. Where will they go if Jackson become private like every other hospital in town?”
“Can you imagine when Jackson stops caring for these patients because Jackson is worried about making a profit?” Taylor asked. “I don’t want to see that day.”
Dr. Paul Adams, who is a doctor in Jackson’s ER and the EMS Medical Director for the City of Miami and the City of Key Biscayne Fire Departments, asked for the community’s help in fighting to keep Jackson public. “This is a great community hospital,” he said. “We don’t ask our patients ‘how are you going to pay?’ We ask ‘how can we relieve your suffering?’
To watch coverage of today’s press conference on WSVN Channel 7, click here!