Access to Healthcare Services in Haiti
“Healthcare is a human right, every American is entitled to the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.” Those words were spoken by former President Theodore Roosevelt on January 11, 1944 to the American Congress. This essential freedom is not enjoyed by the global society at large and currently “over one billion people lack access to basic healthcare systems.” (Carr, 2004, p. 28) Unfortunately, the poorest countries in the world are often found to be the ones most in need of these basic medical services. The island nation of Haiti is the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Seven million people inhabit an area the size of New Jersey. Seventy-eight percent of Haitians live on less than two dollars a day and only sixty four percent of the country is literate. (Shah, 2010) “Haiti has the worst malnutrition, the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality, and the worst AIDS epidemic in the Americas. Nearly half the population is chronically undernourished. Of every thousand children born in Haiti, 71 die before reaching the age of 5.” (Partners In Health, 2012, para. 2) Many factors over the last 200 years have contributed to a healthcare system in crisis. The paper will examine how healthcare is delivered within this impoverished nation and the vast dynamics that contribute the current healthcare crisis. Haiti’s healthcare is delivered in three sectors, the public, semi-public, and the private sector. The private for-profit sector provides approximately one third of the population’s healthcare and is located dominantly within the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Here doctors and hospitals often expect payment in advance for services. (Mangan, 2009) If you are one of the twenty percent that live above the poverty line private healthcare might be an option for your healthcare needs. However; close to eighty percent of Haitian...
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