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Legislature Candidate Laments Access to Health Care on West Side

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Health care workers and a candidate for the Erie County Legislature say medical care is lacking on Buffalo's West Side.

Sixth District Legislative candidate Maria Whyte called a news conference Tuesday to address what she and others are calling a heath care shortage. They say that the closing of the Roberto Clemente Health Center in June left many former patients with no where to go.

Patients in this mostly poor, Hispanic community were directed to the nearby Joseph Mattina Clinic. But workers there say many are turned away due to staffing and space limitations. Whyte says more county resources are needed to adequately staff the Mattina Center.

"The bottom line is that this community is under-served," Whyte said. "We are not able to meet the need. We must do a better job because health care is a fundamental right."

Whyte and others worry that the move toward privatization of health care could further disenfranchise West Side residents.