Global & Disaster Medicine

USVI: “….A week after Maria blew through, the recovery efforts were still lumbering to get off the ground. Power lines sit in tangled piles on the side of the road. Some droop down from broken poles and slap the windshields of cars as they pass by. Houses have been knocked from their foundations and rest precariously on steep hillsides. Piles of garbage grow larger and more fetid by the day, rotting in the tropical sun. And help from the local and federal government can be hard to come by….”

NY Times

“….Basic government functions have suffered neglect for years. The government has shortchanged the hospitals of the funding they are supposed to receive. And that has caused the hospitals to fall behind on payments to entities like the local water and power authority, which has raised rates so high on customers that they pay three times as much as the average in the states. Compounding the financial stress, the federal government caps the amount of money it provides the territories for Medicaid…..After Irma hit three weeks ago, aid was slow to trickle into St. Thomas and St. John. When military, law enforcement and emergency medical workers finally did begin to settle in, they were forced to pull out as Maria approached, taking the semblance of safety and order they brought with them…….”

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