Letter: Puerto Rico disaster affects U.S. health care

There is a national crisis in this country of which few people are aware. I’m talking about something as simple as saltwater.

I am a cancer patient and have been receiving IV chemotherapy infusions for the past eight months. Recently, when I walked into the chemo room I was told that my medication would have to be administered by injection into my abdomen. Why? Because almost all of the sterile saline solution IV bags are manufactured in Puerto Rico and because of the hurricane the drug companies have been forced to shut down.

This has created a nationwide shortage of pharmaceutical and medical supplies because the majority of the pharmaceutical businesses have located their plants in Puerto Rico (taking advantage of cheap labor). Is money everything?

If necessary, Congress should pass special funding to send the Army Corps of Engineers, the Navy Seabees and anyone else to Puerto Rico to rebuild this devastated island to a workable level of functionality. Perhaps the people in Washington do not realize that this is not only a disaster for Puerto Rico, but also has dire consequences for us here in the continental United States.

Robert Baker


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