Puerto Rico's Health System vs. The World
10/6/17: As recovery efforts in Puerto Rico continue, their health system is the latest facet to feel the burden of Hurricane Maria. Massive power outages, tied together with communications problems and resource depletion, have put a strain on the island's medical system and is endangering residents who are in need of routine or emergency medical attention. USA Today reports:
• "Patients are dying because of complications related to the primitive conditions and difficult transportation issues so many island residents now endure.
• A lack of transportation in small towns makes it difficult to transfer patients to larger hospitals.
• An administrator in a small-town hospital has to drive her car to an ambulance company a mile away to ask for a patient to be transferred to a larger hospital.
• Severe lack of communications on the island has resulted in less triage and coordination between hospitals, and more patients arriving at large medical centers than usual, which has stretched capacity.
• Doctors are afraid to discharge patients after surgery to places with unsanitary conditions and where care and transportation may not exist, adding strain to an already strained system."
We will continue to update as this crisis continues.