Michael Herrera, who founded many Tex-Mex restaurants across North Texas, went to the Parkland Hospital emergency department after a golf game. He was having severe stomach pains.
Unfortunately for Mr. Herrera, 270 other people also checked into the Parkland Hospital emergency department that day.
Mr. Herrera waited 19 hours for care and still had not seen a doctor when he went into a cardiac arrest and died.
Mr. Herrera was uninsured and Parkland Hospital is reportedly the only hospital in the Dallas area to provide care for patients without insurance (I do not know this to be a fact, but am stating this due to several comments in the comment sections of the articles below).
Here are some other articles about the story from Dallas News, Pegasus News, Fort Worth Star Telegram, and WFAA.com from Dallas/Fort Worth.
Still think funding for emergency care is unimportant?
Still think socialized medicine and “free” care is the way to go?
We’re going to see more and more people die waiting for care until our lawmakers increase funding for emergency care and create a system that provides adequate reimbursement to medical providers while protecting everyone from jackpot justice.
More ED patients, less available EDs, more medical providers getting fed up with practicing emergency medicine. Hospitals trying to stay afloat by limiting care to indigent patients.
First it’s Beatrice Vance
Then it’s Esmin Green
Just today, Kevin MD linked to another story about Brian Sinclair who died in Winnipeg after waiting 34 hours to be seen in a Canadian emergency department. See another version of the story here.
Now Michael Herrera is dead.
Think about this question when you enter the voting booths this November:
How many people have to die waiting for medical treatment before our elected leaders address funding for medical care?
We’re getting what we pay for.
It is sad that some people are getting it sooner than others.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 30, 2008
An autopsy showed that Mr. Herrera died from complications due to diabetes, heart disease, and morbid obesity.
“I would suspect that with his presentation, he would have been attended to and sent home,” said Dr. Ron Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the Parkland Health and Hospital System.