A Note From Charles Gibson

On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Charles Gibson reports from Charity Hospital, where hundreds of patients and doctors were stranded for days after the storm hit New Orleans.

When you look around at where I'm standing, you might think you're in a warehouse or some kind of abandoned building, but, actually, this is a hospital.

Charity Hospital was the hospital for the indigent, the poor, the uninsured in New Orleans. It held 500 beds, along with the adjoining Tulane University hospital.

After Katrina hit, the hospital was so badly damaged it would have cost more to rebuild than a new hospital would cost to open, and so after many moves, the people from Charity Hospital have ended up in an old Lord and Taylor department store that vacated before the storm.

The location is the best the hospital could find, and it now holds rooms where emergency patients are treated. But there is far less capacity here to take care of patients than there is need.

Doctors here tell you that if a patient comes in on Monday morning with something that is not an acute emergency, he or she may wind up waiting six to eight hours for medical care.

In a sense, a year after Katrina there is not sufficient medical care to take care of the needs of those who are here. The city has about half of its past population, but there are nowhere near enough beds to take care of the people who need medical care.

Watch Charles Gibson's full report tonight on "World News."

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...