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"Puerto Rico’s Health Care Lessons" - Kenneth L. Davis, MD

  • Forbes
  • New York, NY
  • (November 02, 2017)

Volunteer teams of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other health care providers from the Mount Sinai Health System and other hospitals around the country are in Puerto Rico, attending to the island’s severe medical needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In tents functioning as makeshift health clinics, these medical professionals are witness to a real-life case study of what happens when people lose access to health care: some with mild illnesses unnecessarily become acutely sick, and many with chronic conditions go without treatment and necessary drugs, which can lead to medical emergencies. Cases of chronic disease devolving to conditions requiring urgent intervention are common in a disaster zone. Sadly, this also happens in normal times. While it occurs less frequently at our emergency departments in New York, we still see it every day among people who do not qualify for Medicaid, whose Medicaid has lapsed, or who have inadequate health insurance coverage. They avoid visits to the doctor, skip filling prescriptions, and eventually develop serious conditions that are expensive to treat. Kenneth Davis, MD, president and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System said, “We will always care for all patients who enter our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. That pledge is central to the Mount Sinai Health System’s mission and its commitment to the New York community.”

- Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President, CEO, Mount Sinai Health System

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