Haiti’s healthcare system remains very disorganized. Despite efforts undertaken by the Haitian Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP), funding and logistical help from international organizations in many areas of the country, and numerous NGO-run primary care centers in many of Haiti’s ten regional departments, access to care, let alone quality care, remains, at best, limited and dysfunctional.
In the public sector, hospitals and healthcare centers are plagued with a chronic lack of funding and scarcity of medical supplies. Consequently, patient care is often limited and dependent on a family’s capacity to buy, out-of-pocket, the needed supplies for treatment. The necessary funding to cover emergency management and treatment is significant and seriously insufficient. Most of the middle class is not prepared to handle such emergency situations, and for the previously mentioned low to no-income population, it is a death sentence in many situations, especially if public hospitals are unable to provide adequate urgent care.
From the time of the devastating January 2010 earthquake, Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) has been at the forefront of funding and working towards improving areas of deficient primary and secondary care, with the long-term goal of implementing and contributing to the creation of sustainable, efficient, quality controlled healthcare models accessible to Haitians of all income levels.
With this goal in mind, RMF is forming new partnerships and establishing new programs to develop a more complete model and a larger scope of care, while continuing our successful Surgical Program.
Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie (CHSM) is a new private hospital located in the densely populated downtown area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The hospital dictum is “Put the patient first,” and this motto is at the forefront of their mission. One of their main goals is to pursue ways and resources to organize affordable quality care packages for the Haitian population.
The care programs that Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie (CHSM) aims to offer are in alignment with RMF’s main goal since our involvement in 2010, which is to implement a socially oriented, private referral hub offering quality care in all components.
The need for our Community Outreach & Rehabilitation Effort (CORE) project appeared more prominent than ever, coupled with Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie’s willingness to be more than another private facility and significantly contribute to increasing the accessibility of care. This setting offers, we believe, the perfect partnership conditions to implement meaningful social programs in the community and offer quality care to a larger portion of the Haitian population normally cut off from these basic rights. The CORE project has four components:
RMF’s Surgical Program has been successful in Haiti for the past 4 years and continues developing, currently offering comprehensive orthopedic surgical treatment to low or no-income families with children presenting limb deviations or deformities. This surgical program carefully selects children with a debilitating illness (congenital or acquired and affecting their limbs), allows for their biological and imaging screening, and provides corrective surgical procedures to treat their condition.
The Emergency Care Program’s basic care package will include the following services:
For a monthly contribution of $15 per family and a 10% co-pay of the following services rendered to each family member subscribed to the program, this care package would include:
To support the cholera control and eradication efforts in Haiti, RMF is partnering with a like-minded, reputable, and already present organization in the southern parts of the island. This partnership has been explored and is being finalized through contacts at the Haiti Adventist Hospital (HAH), which is partnering with ADRA Haiti, an organization that has ongoing cholera relief programs in southern Haiti.
HAH plans to support the ADRA WASH, Shelter, and Food Distribution Hurricane Relief Program in the southern departments by implementing programs and activities tackling issues that have the potential to trigger or worsen epidemic outbreaks in the areas covered in the south. These program will include:
This program envisions serving 6,000 families in the greater metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince within a maximum of two years
60 children in three installments
This program has a goal of providing a basic care package to 6,000 Haitian families of up to 5 members (which is the average family count, consisting of 2 parents and 3 children)