Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Crummy Situation

This just isn't right. A group of Americans linked to a charity were arrested for taking Haitian children out of Haiti without the proper paperwork and authorizations.
The five men and five women were in custody in the capital, Port-au-Prince after their arrests on Friday night. There are fears that traffickers could try to exploit the chaos and turmoil following Haiti's January 12 earthquake quake to engage in illegal adoptions.

One of the suspects, who says she is leader of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children's Refuge, denied they had done anything wrong.

The suspects were detained at Malpasse, Haiti's main border crossing with the Dominican Republic, after Haitian police conducted a routine search of their vehicle.

Authorities said the Americans had no documents to prove they had cleared the adoption of the 33 children -- aged 2 months to 12 years -- through any embassy and no papers showing they were made orphans by the quake in the impoverished Caribbean country.
They claim that they were right to do so since they were helping the children get to an orphanage located in the Dominican Republic. This is all too familiar; it's very much like the Zoe's Ark case.

Meanwhile, the US has halted airlifting Haitians to the US for health care because of a kerfuffle over who would pay to reimburse the hospitals for case.
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.

"There has been no policy decision by anyone to suspend evacuee flights," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. "This situation arose as we started to run out of room."

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.

Poor coordination and limited resources, not costs, drove the governor's request, said John Cherry, spokesman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Poor coordination and limited resources? How was it that the military airlifts were approved, hospital care provided, and no one considered how to coordinate all this? Flights were landing without advance notice? Florida hospitals deny that they refused care.

No comments: