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More than six months after Hurricane Maria, daily life in Castañer, Puerto Rico, is nowhere close to normal as residents try to deal with the effects of trauma, chronic stress and the continued lack of electricity.
Since massive Hurricane Maria struck in September and knocked out the dialysis center on the tiny satellite island of Vieques, more than a dozen patients needing treatment now must fly several times a week to the main island.
Some of the safety-net programs set up after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico are being disbanded.
The deadly storm turned a health challenge into a full-blown medical crisis for one young man with unconfirmed multiple sclerosis. And still he waits to see a neurologist.
Many have complicated questions about whether their Medicaid or Medicare coverage can shift to their new homes. And for those seeking private insurance, using the ACA’s insurance marketplaces will likely be a new experience.
Borrowing a plane is part of these doctors’ duties.
From infections linked to the storm to trying to treat people with chronic diseases in damaged clinics, health officials on this American territory struggle to stay ahead of the needs.
Interest in medical schools is high in Puerto Rico, but many students look to the U.S. mainland for residencies because of higher pay and the commonwealth’s declining economy. The migration of young talent is both a symptom and an exacerbation of the island’s medical woes.
Because of the fears about devastating birth defects, carrying a child to term can be daunting for women in the commonwealth.