Dr. Sanjay Gupta appeared on the Oprah show today. Oprah opened the segment by recapping Sanjay's activities as a doctor in Haiti as well as a reporter. First was video of his treating a 15 day old baby with some sort of head injury, video of him spending the night in the field hospital treating 25 critically injured patients alone after the doctors packed up and left due to security concerns, and then video of Sanjay being helicoptered by the US military to an aircraft carrier offshore to preform a 90 minute emergency surgery on a 15 year old girl who had concrete embedded in her brain from the earthquake.
Talk then turned to the medical issue of how a lot of people lived, but barely, and now they need medical care that they just aren't getting. He spoke about all the "preventable deaths" because personnel and supplies just aren't available. Oprah asked him if i was a money problem or a distribution problem and Sanjay said it was definitely a distribution problem at this point -- there are supplies at the airport but not getting to where they need to go to help people. Oprah asked him "who's in charge" and he said that was a good question, because minutes and hours is how you measure the speed of medical relief and it's been 8 days!
He spoke of the differences with the Tsunami, because people either lived or died in the Tsunami and needed food and water -- where in Haiti people lived, but with catastrophic injuries and they need that care. They talked about the need of an infrastructure for distribution. While security is obviously important but unless you save people's lives, unless you get them some care, security is not going to matter. Sanjay states that when you increase the access to medical care you will decrease security concerns. People are desperate and that's why the security concerns go up. It all dovetails together.