Healthcare, my family, and Puerto Rico. One year later.

My name is Carlos and I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. In 2016, I moved to Illinois and start working as a Solution Specialist for eMedapps. However, my family is still in Puerto Rico and were there when Hurricane Maria impacted the island. A year later they are still recovering.

According to The National Weather Service, Hurricane Maria was the tenth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record and the most intense tropical cyclone worldwide in 2017.

My family has told me that, even one year later, there are still people without homes and electricity. One of the most notable repercussions has been the high number of healthcare providers who have left the island because of the situation. There is now only a small selection of specialist doctors. The other day I was talking to my grandmother and she told me that the estimated time for a general appointment with a cardiovascular doctor is approximately four months.

According to the government of Puerto Rico, the mortality rate was over 2,000 and one of the reasons is that there are no professionals to care for patients.

The clinics were not properly prepared for the strength of Hurricane Maria. Some doctors did not have a suitable backup plan and lost all patient documentation. Many providers, faced with this loss, chose to move to the mainland. I share this life experience to demonstrate the importance of keeping patient data and having a continuity plan for any possible scenario, including natural disasters like Hurricane Maria.

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About the Author:

Carlos Jimenez
Carlos is a Solution Specialist at eMedApps and has been working in the information technology field since 2013. He is currently enrolled at Phoenix University, Illinois taking a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Advanced Cyber Security specialization. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico. In 2015, Carlos moved to Illinois to pursue a career in Healthcare IT. When he is not working, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his wife and dogs. Carlos is a dog lover and frequently helps dog rescue associations, assisting them with fostering while they find the dog’s forever home.