Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. We have a right to equal funding for healthcare.


DOCTORS’ DESCRIBE THE IMPACT ON PATIENT CARE

“The University of Puerto Rico has the best medical school and students in the Island, but it’s very easy for them to jump on a plane and find better job opportunities in the U.S.,” said Dr. Edgar Colón, Dean of the Medical School of the University of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Jose Carlo-Izquierdo, a practicing neurologist at Centro Medico (Medical Center) and the former Chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Medical Sciences Campus, told the story of a girl with an operable tumor, lost her vision due in part to long wait times for surgery. “We will have a Katrina-like situation,” Carlo-Izquierdo said, “maybe slower, but (ultimately) a tsunami.”

“My waiting period for cancer surgery is two-to-three months,” Dr. Antonio Puras-Baez, the chair of the UPR’s urology department, said. “The patients are getting referred to medical centers because no one else wants to take care of them.” “It’s a very frustrating situation, we would like to do more for patients.”

 

WHAT’S AT STAKE

  • A huge number of doctors are moving to the U.S. where they are paid more for their services simply because mainland reimbursement rates are far superior. In the last five years, over 3,000 medical professionals have left Puerto Rico.
  • The medical staffing crisis has caused a drop in quality of care and increase in wait time for services, threatening the health and lives of even the most vulnerable patients, including babies and children with severe medical issues.
  • Increase in copays and deductibles for patients, who cannot afford to pay their health insurance.
  • Hospitals will have to reduce staff, impacting the quality and quantity of services they can provide.