Puerto Rico’s medical crisis shows no signs of improvement

by Nov 14, 2016Economy0 comments

As Puerto Rico continues to deal with its economic recession, professionals in the medical industry have started to become directly affected by the crisis.

Many Doctors, including pediatricians, surgeons, orthopedics, neurologists; are leaving Puerto Rico because of the economic downturns that persist. Doctors are leaving and citizens are losing their healthcare providers. Up to 700 doctors are expected to leave the island this year. The territory’s number of doctors have dropped from 14,000 to 9,000 in the past decade. They leave towards the US mainland for higher wages and lower living costs. There is a huge shortage of specialized doctors. For example, the island of 3.5 million residents has only two pediatric urologists and one pediatric cardiologist.

While the Health professionals leave, citizens bear the burden. Citizens now have to wait much longer for their appointments, and those appointments could be canceled at any time. During wait time, patients conditions get worse. Even in life or death situations, patients could still have to wait to get treatment. Hospitals are unable to buy certain medical supplies with their dwindling budget. This prevents them from getting the equipment that they need for certain medical procedures. Almost a quarter of the population is 60 or older. They are in jeopardy of having poor health treatment that would, unfortunately, facilitate in them dying early.

The economic crisis in Puerto Rico has affected all parts of its society. The quality of life in Puerto Rico is falling. Health professionals keep leaving the territory, and those who stay suffer the consequences. The healthcare industry needs reform, but that can only happen when the economy stabilizes and starts to grow again.


photo credit: Michael Cory machine via photopin (license)