"US halts airlifts of Haiti patients, citing space" by Jennifer Kay, Associated Press Writer | January 30, 2010
US military doctors discuss the medical history of Betina Joseph, 5, as she lies with her mother Denise Exima, 28, at the University of Miami-run field hospital at Haiti's international airport in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010. Doctors said that tetanus developed in Betina's small leg wound and if she's not evacuated in the next 24 hours, she may die. Efforts to treat the injured suffered a setback as the US military said it had halted flights carrying earthquake victims to the US for emergency medical care, because of an apparent cost dispute. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
MIAMI --The U.S. military has halted flights carrying Haitian earthquake victims to the United States because of an apparent dispute over where seriously injured patients should be taken for treatment.
(I really don't know what to say, readers. Uncle Sam has no heart)
An American doctor treating victims in Port-au-Prince warned that at least 100 patients needed to get to better hospitals or they could die, while the U.S. government said it was working to expand hospital capacity in both Haiti and in the U.S. It was unclear exactly what prompted the Wednesday decision by the U.S. military to suspend the flights, or when it would end. Military officials said some states were refusing to take patients, though they wouldn't say which states....
They said "space," right?
The halt came one day after Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wrote a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, warning that "Florida's health care system is quickly reaching saturation, especially in the area of high level trauma care." But officials in Crist's office said they didn't know of any Florida hospitals were turning away patients. He asked Sebelius to activate the National Disaster Medical System, which is typically used in domestic disasters and pays for victims' care.
It's called PASSING the BUCK!
Speaking of which:
Poor coordination and limited resources, not costs, drove the governor's request, said John Cherry, spokesman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "We've made it clear that (the cost) is an issue we'll deal with down the road," he said....
Meanwhile on the ground in Haiti, Dr. Barth Green, a doctor involved in the relief effort in Port-au-Prince and chairman of the University of Miami's Global Institute for Community Health and Development, warned that his patients needed to get to better hospitals. Civilian flights have not been stopped, but Green said he was relying on U.S. military flights to fly out patients because they are larger and better equipped to handle injured patients.
At a temporary field hospital at Haiti's international airport set up with donations to Green's institute, two men had already died of tetanus. Doctors said 5-year-old Betina Joseph faced a similar fate within 24 hours unless evacuated to a U.S. hospital where she can be put on a respirator. The girl -- infected with tetanus through a two-inch cut on her thigh -- weakly shooed a fly buzzing around her face as her mother caressed her corn rows, apparently unaware that getting the girl out could mean life or death....
Yes, THEY LOVE THEIR CHILDREN just as YOU and I DO, Americans!!!
The White House said federal officials were working with other states and non-government aid groups in Haiti to expand hospital capacity so they can make more room for critically injured patients aboard the USNS Comfort hospital ship anchored off the coast of Port-au-Prince....
You know, it has been OVER TWO FLIPPING WEEKS!!!! WTF?!!!