SAN ANTONIO - The interim director of La Paz Community Health Center referred to his new job as "driving into the perfect storm." Dr. Marvin Rouhotas said within the past two years state budget cuts to Medicare have slashed a major portion of funding from his operation.
So with no auto insurance, the interim director said La Paz is not able to use the vans on its parking lot to take patients to and from treatment at the facility.
"They sprung it on us yesterday. Called us on the phone," said one unidentified woman.
La Paz offers outpatient treatment for people dealing with mental health issues like schizophrenia, depression and bi-polar disorder. Many seek daily therapy or treatment session, and on Thursday they were told to find their own transportation.
"One woman she didn't have a dollar and 75 cents to catch VIA Trans, so she didn’t show up,” said an unidentified patient.
Another person said some patients are very fragile, mentally, and can’t just hop on a crowded bus.
The center has other issues too - workers not receiving their pay checks. In June, workers called News 4 WOAI to complain about not getting paid. On Thursday interns voiced concern about their pay checks.
Rouhotas told us they would get paid in about ten days.
There were patients confused and wondering if the owner of the treatment center misled them about financial issues during a recent meeting.
"He had given us a really good speech a couple of weeks ago about everything was solid and strong and everything was fine, and then this happens," said a concerned patient.
One person said La Paz workers handed out a list of places patients could contact to get help with behavioral disorders or financial assistance for health care.