Dangerous Smuggling Strains Arizona Hospitals

Regional officials attended the Binational Health Week kick-off.

Regional officials attended the Binational Health Week kick-off in Nogales, Mexico. Ted Robbins, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ted Robbins, NPR
University Medical Center Transition Management Director Marj Sisson.

Dixie Nixon of the UMC Foundation inspects some of the new equipment installed in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Ted Robbins, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ted Robbins, NPR

As the U.S. government tightens security along the border with Mexico, nearby hospitals are seeing an increasing number of serious injuries in their emergency rooms.

Many uninsured illegal immigrants cannot afford to pay for this medical care, so more hospitals are forced to foot the bill.

From smugglers' use of unsafe, overcrowded vehicles to immigrants who can't — or won't — pay for treatment, medical resources along the border are being strained. Amid the argument over who should pay, hospitals on both sides of the border are looking for answers.

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