The cost of the Haiti earthquake to the U.S. and to citizens has been staggering. The U.S. Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, arrived in Haiti on January 16th to treat those injured in the devastating Haiti earthquake of January 12th. Using a minimum of 2 million gallons of fuel, the ship treated fewer than 1,000 people, bringing the cost of treatment per patient to a minimum of $9,184 - for fuel only. Actual treatment costs have not been determined. In the video below, you will hear that the Comfort expected to treat 500 patients per day. Instead, the ship was innundated with patients suffering from ailments unrelated to the earthquake.
In seven weeks, the Comfort treated only 871 patients; 843 were surgical procedures, on a ship capable of treating 500 daily:
“You can’t expect the Comfort to bring the entire country up to the standards of the U.S. health care system, but there has to be some bailout capacity,” Pollak said.Military physicians say privately that the Haiti relief mission was complicated by the endless need for advanced care for patients whose conditions were unrelated to the Jan. 12 disaster.
In Haiti primarily to treat fractures and crush injuries from the earthquake, the crew was inundated with patients suffering from diseases, heart trouble, infections and other ailments that owed more to the country’s lack of development than to the earthquake.