Haiti’s Tale of Two Hospitals
One hospital is an advertisement for the world’s vow to rebuild Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The other is a cesspool of broken promises.
By: Catherine Porter Columnist, The Star – Published on Mon Feb 17 2014.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — If you want to be inspired by progress in Haiti, drive 1.5 hours north to the new University Hospital of Mirebalais.
If you want to be depressed by the dismal state of affairs four years after the 7.0-Richter earthquake, go downtown to the old University Hospital of Haiti.
I visited both last month. At the first facility, I found bright new buildings covered with solar panels, patients wandering around clean leafy courtyards with trickling fish ponds, and an American technician teaching employees how to work a gleaming new $700,000 CT scanner — the first in a public hospital in Haiti.
At the second, known locally as the general hospital, I watched the body of a young man be wheeled down a urine-soaked brick lane between broken buildings and then hoisted onto a jumbled pile of cadavers inside a shipping container. That is the hospital’s — and city’s — current morgue.
Patients were getting blood tests outside in a canvas tent. Abandoned kids sat tied to their rusty cribs inside a series of plywood buildings that for three years now have served as the hospital’s pediatric unit.
Excerpt of interview with Paul Farmer. See entire article at here »