who has the solution to health care in haiti?

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The health care debate in this country has been heating up, and it's about to boil over. There have been cases where people have gotten out of control in these town hall meetings.

There are also a lot of misrepresentations of the president's plan. This is mainly due to the fact that information contained in the plan are so complex and most people are not interested in reading it themselves.

Rather, they are told that it is a bad plan and they bite on it. Most of us modern and sophisticated people don't have time to read through hundreds of pages of documents, especially when the language is unfamiliar to us. In my opinion this is where the message gets lost; and we need KISS, "keep it simple stupid".

In this age of information everyone wants it now. If I am not able to read and understand something in less than a minute then I am not interested, even if it is a matter of life and death.

I am always amazed about the American social institutions.

Western societies have evolved to a degree that they are able to tackle issues that we as Haitians could not imagine the relevancy to our lives.

I mean the basic issue of providing adequate health care to everyone in a country, or the importance of making safe drinking water available to everyone.

For Haitians who live in the rural areas as long as they can find a "ougan", or a medicinal plant who needs medical doctors.

A couple of years ago I was involved in a humanitarian mission with the US military.

This was during the aftermath of hurricane Jeanne.

We went into Gonaives; this city that was hardest hit, and set up base operations there.

Basically, this mission was to help the Haitians deal with that catastrophic event.

But I also felt that the US government wanted to shore up relations due to the speculations of US involvement into Aristide's coup. Anyways, we dug up wells, schools, and provided medical treatment.

I remembered that every morning before we started operation there would be hundreds of people lined up so they could they see the American doctors; some of them had walked dozens of miles to come to our area. One girl was brought in to us, she was hit by a car, and after the doctors treated her we need further treatment.

We took her to the main hospital in Gonaives, I believe it was Robateau, but they did not have medical supplies, and the staffs were on strike.

Needless to say we drove this young girl around to different facilities in the city trying to find treatment for her and we could not. Eventually one of the Haitian nurses who were working with us knew of a private doctor friend, and he obliged.

I told this story in order to illustrate my personal account with the Haitian health care system, which is non-existent, and make shift at best.

Mark, August 17 2009, 10:23 PM

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