It has been 10 years since a massive earthquake struck Haiti killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving more than a million homeless. The quake all but destroyed the country’s healthcare system. A decade later, it remains in ruins.
It’s estimated that 40 per cent of the population lacks access to healthcare. A clear example of this is the new Hospital of the State University of Haiti. The hospital, near downtown Port-au-Prince, was one of the first projects approved for Haiti’s reconstruction following the catastrophic earthquake. However, the doors to the new facility have yet to open and there are fears that if, and when they do, Haiti won’t be able to afford the cost of running it. As the Miami Herald reports, 87 per cent of the health ministry’s operational budget goes to salaries, which leaves very little money to support the country’s public hospitals.
On this episode of The Stream we dive into why Haiti’s healthcare system remains crippled.
In This Story: Haiti
Jean-Jacques Dessalines (later Emperor Jacques I), defeated Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces and declared Haiti’s sovereignty on 1 January 1804.
Haiti became the only state in history established by a successful slave revolt. Apart from Alexandre Pétion, the first President of the Republic, all of Haiti’s first leaders were former slaves.