US halts airlift of Haiti quake victims

Many people have responded to the earthquake tragedy in Haiti with money, volunteer work, and basic sympathy and care. Nevertheless, it’s disturbing to see the ways in which we fall short. It’s hard for me to imagine that the recent suspension of medical evacuations would have occurred for a disaster in say, Canada or Europe.

The United States has suspended its medical evacuations of critically injured Haitian earthquake victims until a dispute over who will pay for their care is settled, military officials said Friday.

The military flights, usually C-130s carrying Haitians with spinal cord injuries, burns and other serious wounds, ended on Wednesday after Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida formally asked the federal government to shoulder some of the cost of the care.

Hospitals in Florida have treated more than 500 earthquake victims so far, the military said, including an infant who was pulled out of the rubble with a fractured skull and ribs…The suspension could be catastrophic for patients, said Dr. Barth A. Green, the co-founder of Project Medishare for Haiti…“People are dying in Haiti because they can’t get out.”

via In Cost Dispute, U.S. Halts Airlift of Haiti Quake Victims – NYTimes.com.

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