Mobile medical van will be used to provide migrants with basic medical needs

SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has begun this week providing a mobile medical van to assist community partners in providing basic health services to migrants. These migrants have been processed and released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement awaiting asylum hearings. 

The move comes under the direction of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham who has directed state agencies to focus on the ongoing humanitarian needs of communities seeing large groups of families, women and children entering the United States in hopes of seeking asylum. 

“The Department of Health recognizes the health problems that migrants face after walking great distances across Central America and Mexico,” said NMDOH Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “The mobile medical van gives medical professionals and their patients a degree of privacy as they determine what medical issues are either treatable on site or require transport to area hospitals.”

“As long as there is a humanitarian need in our southern border cities, the state of New Mexico is committed to providing assistance,” said NMDOH Deputy Secretary Dr. Abinash Achekar. “We will continue to evaluate with our partners the need for expanding our assistance, as needed”.

The first mobile unit was deployed for use in Las Cruces this week and will be used by volunteer doctors, nurses, and medical students at locations where migrants are arriving after being released from federal custody. There migrants can rest, seek medical attention, if necessary, and make travel arrangements to family members nationwide while they await their turn in receiving asylum services on the federal level. 

Any migrant unable to be treated and released on the spot are sent to local emergency rooms as necessary. The number of hospital visits for migrants released from federal custody are minimal with most migrant health issues being related to dehydration or hunger.

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