It's been 18 months since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, but 11 hospitals remain closed in the wake of the storm. Officials continue to argue over how the healthcare system should be reshaped, most notably over whether indigent care dollars should remain the Charity Hospital system or follow patients as part of an insurance scheme. Meanwhile, many of the city's poorer residents struggle to get basic care.
In an effort to close at least some of the system's gaps, private donors and volunteers have built a new health clinic intended to serve the city's recovering Lower 9th ward. Officials hope the clinic will stem casualties from chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes, which are now going untreated in some cases due to long lines at existing clinics. The clinic is housed in the private home of a registered nurse who lived in there prior to the flooding. The clinic should treat 150 patients per week, backers said.
To find out more about the New Orleans healthcare situation:
- read this Times-Picayune article