Sunday, January 31, 2010

Haiti earthquake: US stops military evacuations to American hospitals; Haitians 'will die'

Doctors tending seriously injured victims of the Haiti earthquake have warned they will die needlessly after a dispute over hospital bills and capacity halted medical flights to the US.

US military flights of patients to Florida, only two hours by air from Port-au-Prince, and other states have been suspended leaving hundreds in need of urgent surgery which cannot be performed with the facilities available in the Haitian capital.

Barth Green, a senior Miami surgeon working at Port-au-Prince's airport, said at least 100 of his most critically injured patients, many of them children, could die within days unless evacuated.

There were "hundreds of thousands of critically injured and severely disabled Haitians, and we're only trying to send a few hundred to America", he said.

"We have to resume these flights. Letting them die, that's not America."