Healthcare in El Salvador II: Water

“What are the most significant problems facing El Salvador today?” I asked ‘Chungo’, the nickname of a fifty one year old representative of Ciudad Romero? His response was: 1) clean water, 2) electricity and 3) paved roads. When visiting a clinic in the village of Isla de Mendez, I asked the resident doctor what single…

Healthcare in El Salvador I: Major Illnesses

This week, I will be doing a five part report on what I have learned from my eight-day community service trip to El Salvador. The trip was organized by the non-profit AJWS and was led by employees of the Salvadoran non-profits La Coordinadora del Bajo Lempa and the Foundation for Self Sufficiency in Central America…

Off to El Salvador!

For the next week I will be headed to Ciudad Romero in the department of Usulatan in El Salvador to assist the local population through their NGO La Coordinadora del Bajo Lempa (Lempa is for the Lempa river which runs near the town). Directed by La Coordinadora, I will work on social justice projects such…

The libertarian health care system

The poor can not afford health care. Health care costs rise above inflation year after year. Serious errors committed by hospitals and physicians are reported by the news media on a daily basis. How can we fix these problems? Can we rely on Uncle Sam to do what’s needed? Will Wilkinson doubts that government intervention…

Health Wonk Review #3

Kate Steadman’s Healthy Policy blog is hosting the Health Wonk Review #3 for this week. The HWR distills two weeks of health policy blogging to bring readers the best of the best. Topics include: Reform: What’s the definition of “isâ€? edition Changes are A’ Comin Medicine and Health Policy From the Unbeaten Health Blogosphere Path…

Number of Uninsured may be overstated

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts website gives a wide variety of statistics detailing health insurance in America. The study finds that there are 45.5 million uninsured non-elderly individuals (16% of the total non-elderly population). Out of this total 4.1 million (9% of the uninsured) are poor children and 12.6 million (28% of the…

Should Non-Profit Hospitals get a Tax Break?

Of course they should! Non-profit hospitals treat the poorest patients in the most underserved communities using a bare bones administrative budget…right? According to the New York Times (“Nonprofit Hospitals Face Scrutiny Over Practices“), the traditional view of non-profit hospitals as altruistic institutions may be flawed. The commissioner of internal revenue, Mark W. Everson, said tax…

HC Economist diagnosis: A case of Baumol’s Disease

The American health care system seems ill.  Prices for medical services have continued to outpace inflation during recent history.  What is the Healthcare Economist’s diagnosis?  Simple, its a case of Baumol’s cost disease. Baumol’s cost disease is a phenomenon which appears in industries which have slow productivity growth over time (see “What ails us” in…

The WHO revises its Tuberculosis Strategy

Tuberculosis is the world’s deadliest curable, infectious disease. According to the World Health Organization TB report, there were 8.9 million new TB cases in 2003.  Over 1.7 million people die of the ailment, 90 percent of them in developing countries.  Africa has the highest incidence of TB with 2.8 million cases in 2003, but even…