Monday, March 1, 2010

NACLA: The Undermining of Haiti's HealthCare System

The Undermining of Haitian Healthcare: Setting the Stage for Disaster
In December 2003, the dedication ceremony of Haiti’s first and only public medical school, a project jointly supported by the governments of Haiti, Cuba, and Taiwan, took place at the University of Tabarre in Port-au-Prince. At the time of the school’s opening, Haiti had one of the worst doctor-to-patient ratios in the world (one to 10,000 in urban areas and one to 20,000 in rural areas), and the school’s ability to provide free medical education was considered one of the most important achievements of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide’s administration.

In a declaration full of optimism and hope, the Dean of Health Sciences, Dr. Yves Polynice stated: “The inauguration of the Aristide Foundation University is an opportunity to renew our Hippocratic Oath where each physician pledges to care for the poor, widows, and orphans free of cost. We must be conscious that any illness affecting one citizen represents a threat to us all. Today we say ‘health care for all, without exclusion.’ ” On February 3, 2004, the hospital officially opened its doors and began treating many of Haiti’s most vulnerable. For many it was their first visit to a doctor. More...

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