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a learning experience

your emergency is not your hospital’s responsibility

Emergency Rooms Get Eased Rules on Patient Care

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 — The Bush administration is relaxing rules that say hospitals have to examine and treat people who require emergency medical care, regardless of their ability to pay.

Under the new rule, which takes effect on Nov. 10, patients might find it more difficult to obtain certain types of emergency care at some hospitals or clinics that hospitals own and operate.

The new rule makes clear that hospitals need not have specialists “on call” around the clock. Some patients might have more difficulty winning damages in court for injuries caused by violations of the federal standards.

So after November 10, expect to be turned away from the emergency room unless you have an open wound if you visit any but the largest big city hospitals.

This is progress?