146753 Effect of Hurricane Katrina on hospitals staffing & services in New Orleans, Louisiana

Monday, November 5, 2007: 2:30 PM

Mustafa Younis , Chair, Dept of Health Policy, Florida International University, Miaimi, FL
Introduction: On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Louisiana. At least 80% of New Orleans flooded and much of the infrastructure of the city and surrounding areas was destroyed. Many of the city residents evacuated and did not return. Furthermore, many of hospitals closed, and remained closed due to logistic and financial issues.

Objectives: this article is a review of the effect of Hurricane Katrina on hospitals located in New Orleans metro area before and after the Katrina disaster. The effects of the hurricane on health care services, along with recommendations for future natural disasters, are presented and discussed.

Study design: American Hospitals Associations data Methods: Descriptive statistics were used as the basis of discussion.

Results: While over 50% of hospitals in New Orleans closed since Katrina and the numbers of hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other health care providers in the surrounding metro area declined, the residents of New Orleans have suffered higher incidence rates of mental and physical illnesses. Therefore, we could not conclude that the number of bed available per populations is appropriate in post Katrina.

Conclusions: Due to the close of safety net hospitals such as (Charity hospitals, which had over 1000 bed) and other health care services, we conclude the city is in desperate need for help from the federal, state and local government to maintain the safety net hospitals. Furthermore, due to the mental effect and financial impact on the city residents, many individuals are delaying needed preventive and primary health care visits.

Learning Objectives:
Hurricane Katrina, Biosterrism, Hospitals serivces

Keywords: Access and Services, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.