Saturday, March 25, 2006

Doctors without Hospitals

We have all heard of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, the medical humanitarian group that has fought hard and courageously to deliver "emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries."

But have you heard of Doctors without Hospitals? You can not only hear of them but see them this afternoon (March 25) in New Orleans:
On March 25, 2006, at 2 p.m. several hundred doctors, residents, medical students, nurses, hospital employees, patients, community members, and political activists will rally together outside Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana to protest the closure of this esteemed public hospital. Considered the oldest continuously running public hospital in the country, Charity has cared for hundreds of thousands of members of the New Orleans community for two centuries.

These New Orleans residents are now largely without access to healthcare and forced to rely entirely on understaffed emergency rooms for basic health needs, such as monthly prescriptions and routine medical complaints. This shift has caused a healthcare catastrophe in the New Orleans metropolitan area and will be the focus of this rally, along with a discussion of the future of Charity Hospital and the fate of this city's uninsured.
Doctors without Hospitals. In the richest nation on earth. President Bush? Dr. Frist? Speaker Hastert? Will you be there? Are you "there" for any of us without a fat wallet or a crucifix on our voter registrations?