(an excerpt from Rahul’s blogpost) – found here
So, I’m on day #4 in Haiti. It’s been a phenomenal week so far. We are in Cap Haitien, Haiti, a city in the north of Haiti on the water. We are working at the Justinian University, which is the 2nd largest hospital in Haiti. Interestingly, when I came to Haiti for the first time, I worked at the University Hospital in Port-au-Prince (the largest hospital in Haiti). Justinian University has a nursing school, residency (one year for primary care), and over 250 hospital beds (including surgery, medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, urology, and orthopedics). Like many hospitals, the ER is not a big part of the hospital…yet.
First let me describe the hospital. It has no cardiac monitoring, very little oxygen, few lab tests, and 3-5 hours of no power a day. It costs about $3 to see a doctor, but if you need sutures or IV saline or any medications or x-rays, the doctors will write an order, and you or a family member will go to the pharmacy or radiology area, and purchase what was ordered. Obviously, in a 3rd world country, this is prohibitive, as I had a patient who was involved in a motorcycle accident who had severe proximal humerous tenderness and pain, would not get his x-rays because he had no money. The ER is crowded, and there is no real triage. In fact, patients are normally seen in a “first come, first serve” basis. The only exception of this is when people are extremely ill, where those in front have no objections to the sicker patients cutting in front of them.
Check back tomorrow for more posts from Rahul about his experiences in Haiti
– Background on the Justinian Hospital and Jewish Healthcare International
– Emergency Medicine in Haiti