May 12, 2023 – The CBDIO or the social service organization known as the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueño, translated as the Binational Center for Oaxacan Indigenous Development, held a press conference in conjunction with the Jakara Movement in front of the Madera Community Hospital on Thursday morning.
Madera Community Hospital was recently closed, cutting off support for a large number of both Sikh and indigenous peoples in the Madera area.
These two groups have teamed up to garner support from both local organizations as well as state government in to advocate for their respective ethnicities.
CBDIO and the Jakara Movement conducted a survey of over 300+ community members in the immediate Madera area, asking questions as to how this hospital closure will affect them.
The survey itself was completed in a new style as it was conducted primarily in Spanish, Punjabi, and Indigenous languages, so as to hear from the marginalized voices who don’t normally receive the same support.
The number one concept that was taken away from this survey was the fact that with the Madera Community Hospital closure, the immediately impacted are having to travel to locations too far and not as easily accessible for patients, mostly the elderly.
In a recent Clovis City Council meeting, Mayor Pro-Tem Vong Mouanoutoua said that the “most valuable resource” to the community of Clovis was its elderly population.
In addition to longer travel times, a lot of the impacted do not have reliable transportation to be traveling back and forth to other hospitals, such as Fresno Community Regional Medical Center or Clovis Community Medical Center.
These two locations in addition to St. Agnes Medical Center, were mentioned as two of the next closest hospitals that patients could possibly travel back and forth to.
However, in the case of emergencies, having to travel back and forth from Madera to Fresno or Clovis does not seem like a viable option, an option that plenty of residents take when having to go to the hospital. Simple tasks such as lab work may now take patients an entire day with travel time introduced.
The CBDIO and the Jakara Movement were pleased to see plenty of local journalists at the event and made three calls to action for furthering their plan to help their local residents of Madera.
One is to make sure that the state government, more specifically the governor, hears their call for Assembly Bill 112 which would give a $150 million dollar loan to “distressed hospitals”.
The second call to action is to launch a task force to look more closely at the deeper rooted causes that hospital systems are facing in situations such as these.
And finally, find and solve the issues that are but of a few, but are making a community such as Madera and its Sikh and Indigenous peoples as stressed as they are to find common medical care.