The society is made of people from different classifications. It is imperative that everyone has equal access and treatment to medical cover regardless of their differences. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) were enacted in a move to ensure that the public is able to access emergency services irrespective of their capability to pay for the services. The EMTALA imposes on the health care hospital to provide treatment for an emergency medical condition so as to stabilize the patients. This act helps prevent discrimination of medically uninsured patients and thus guaranteeing nondiscriminatory access to health care system.
Under the EMTALA act, hospitals have a responsibility of screening individuals who come to the health centers in an effort to determine if an emergency medical condition exists (Weglicki, et al). If an emergency medical condition exists, the patient must receive treatment to stabilize the condition or if the situation is dire and the hospital is in condition to treat the emergency, an appropriate transfer should be made to another facility able to resolve the problem. One legal case outlined in the textbook is where a child dies at the hospital door simply because the hospital is slow at responding to the emergency situation. Another instance is where an individual comes to the hospital in critical condition but because he is not insured, the hospital does not offer the necessary treatment.
The purpose of EMTALA is to provide equal and quality treatment to patients first before settling on the medical expenses. It helps bridge the gap between people who are well of and those under privileged in the society.
Weglicki, Robert S., Julie Reynolds and H. Rivers. “Continuing professional development needs of nursing and allied health professionals with responsibility for prescribing.” Nurse education today 35.1 (2015): 227-231.