From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Healthcare industry to volunteers: Get lost!

December 2, 2005 11:55 AM

After Katrina hit, many volunteers with medical skills came down and set up free clinics to take care of folks. What they found though was people who didn't just have immediate medical problems as a result of the hurricane, but many people who were suffering from years of neglect with no healthcare and a completely broken system.

Mississippi and Louisiana are ranked #49 and #50 amongst the 50 states for things like early death and infant mortality, so the situation there shocked volunteers coming from more affluent areas.

But now the volunteers are being kicked out so the crappy for-pay system that has ravaged the community for years can get back on its feet again without losing all its customers to the free clinics. And the volunteers are devastated.

Lawonda Galloway showed up for a prenatal checkup to discover the clinic had closed. Galloway, 24, was five months pregnant and having dizzy spells.

Weeks after the free clinic closed, Galloway had still not received the prenatal vitamins she wanted. She tried going to Coastal Health [non-profit w/ sliding-scale fees], which cannot treat pregnant women; they referred her to a state health department office, which placed her on a waiting list for care.

Eager to see a doctor, she went to the emergency room at Biloxi Regional Medical Center, which made her a follow-up appointment with an obstetrician. When she called about that appointment she was told it would cost more than $100. So she didn't bother.

Tami McMahon, a volunteer nurse sent back to Seattle: "They are sick down there. They are very sick, and they have not been cared for for years."

More from the archive in Health.

Healthcare industry to volunteers: Get lost! (12.02.2005)

Next Entry: Do you have a plan to stabilize Iraq? (12.03.2005)
Previous Entry: Insert ironic Garth Brooks song title here (12.01.2005)

Read the 12 comments.

Dave E.:

Sounds like they just need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps!

Fri Dec 2 2005 7:30 PM


The Broken System is the liberal system that was set up by democrats. They have control for 40 years opf that place and thats what you get for leaving a liberal in charge.

Sat Dec 3 2005 2:36 PM

Dave E.:

My toast has been consistently burned for the past 15 years. Ever since liberals were remotely associated with toasters, the quality of toast in America has steadily declined. They are a scourge. That's what you get for leaving liberals in charge.

Plus, I overcooked my eggs too. Guess who...the liberals.

Me and anonymous will not rest in our mother's basements until websites like this that peddle liberal untruths are confronted with our special non-icky version of the truth.

Sat Dec 3 2005 11:15 PM


How did the liberals in charge of all the other Western democracies get so darned lucky?

They don't have the poverty or the health care problems we do. Canada, Western Europe , and Australia all spend less than we do per capita, yet they live longer and have lower neo-natal death rates. They also all have universal health coverage. You could call what they have a CULTURE OF LIFE.

We should take a lesson. Plenty of children and others are being left behind by the blind faith put in employer-provided health care. How can the least of OUR brethren be doing so much worse than their European counterparts?

Mon Dec 5 2005 10:29 AM

Tom from Madison:

The above post is mine, the first Anonymous post definitely is not!

Mon Dec 5 2005 11:24 AM

Dave E.:

3 Words: Military Industrial Complex.

We spend more on our military than the next 30-something countries combined, and our troops still aren't adequately equipped. The military is a black hole of taxpayer dollars.

Mon Dec 5 2005 3:26 PM


Even upper middle class folks would benefit from having a national health insurance which cannot drop you as soon as you get sick.

I will never understand why conservatives rush to defend the private health insurance system in this country, where you get dropped the minute you really need your health coverage.

I will never understand the point of an "insurance" which can be taken away from you.

I will never understand why people who work for a big employer get more affordable health insurance than the self-employed (small businesses, the driving employment force in the economy) and the unemployed or retired.

Wed Dec 7 2005 4:37 AM

Tom from Madison:


Everybody needs healthcare, yet not everybody works-Duh! So why connect employers to the distribution of health care?

As a society we are more than wealthy enough to take care of everyone. Universal coverage is a much more rational way of doing this than the crazy quilt of providers, insurers, and government programs we have now.

Wed Dec 7 2005 12:23 PM


That is so sad. Amazing that the thought could even enter someone's mind, at all -- screw the real help and bring on the cashflow.

Wed Dec 7 2005 3:31 PM


Or as Bush would say, ‘do you want a bureaucrat coming between you and your doctor?’ Oh hell no! Give me an insurance executive any day!

Thu Dec 8 2005 3:07 PM

Tom from Madison:

An accountable bureaucrat is preferable to an unaccountable insurance company or no coverage at all.

We should build a system based on need--not on greed.

Mon Dec 12 2005 12:17 PM


Announcement for Volunteers

German Management welcomes Volunteers health workers.

Contact joe[email protected] for information or work together in Nepal.

Wer interessiert ist als Volunteer hier zu arbeiten, kann sich zwecks Informationen und-oder Zusammenarbeit gerne bei mir melden, unter:

Joey Anam Nagar Polyclinic & Research Center


[email protected]
[email protected]

Sun Apr 16 2006 12:04 PM

Jim Gilliam
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