Saturday, March 11, 2006

Double Standards?

Check out Jacqueline Charles' article on Donna Shalala's visit to Haiti in today's Miami Herald:

Shalala to push for Haiti's health
UM President Donna Shalala and a renowned global health expert will visit Haiti to promote better healthcare in the poverty-striken nation.

Then read today's column by the fabulous Ana Menendez:

Healthcare concerns need new focus: UM

In it, Menendez writes: "Shalala is traveling to Haiti with Project Medishare, the Florida-based charity that helps train Haitian doctors, nurses, and others to treat TB and HIV. The trip will include visits and meetings with health officials.

This won't be Shalala's first visit to Haiti. Clearly, she is committed to the idea of accessible healthcare fo society's saddest cases. Now she needs to make the leap to her own bougainvillea-draped backyard.

More than 500,000 people in Miami-Dade lack adequate health insurance. Many of them are recent immigrants from Haiti and Cuba who take the thankless jobs that are subsidizing Miami's boom: hotel workers, janitors, and gardeners.

Shalala doesn't need reminding that poor access to healthcare is also a problem here -- UM doctors care for 80 percent of the uninsured who go through Jackson.

But no UM worker should be among those needing to resort to charity for their healthcare. Some 400 people clean bathrooms and mow the lawn at UM for little more than $7 an hour. What does it say about an institution of higher learning when its most vulnerable workers can't even afford a doctor?"


paul h. said...

Another home-run today (3/11/2006) for Ana Menendez. Another very insightful piece trying to give some light to the darkness of this whole controversy.

Try as I might, I cannot understand the dynamics of this dispute. UM and President Shalala act as if UNICCO is some independent actor in this discussion. UNICCO works for UM and Donna Shalala is the captain of the UM ship. I do not understand why President Shalala does not call all the parties into her office and lock the door and announce that no one is leaving until this 'failure to communicate' has been resolved.

Dr. Shalala comes to UM with respectable progressive credentials. Why she has allowed this situation to fester - to flounder in the open ocean - I do not know. It is a mystery. She is acting more like an official from the Bush administration than an official from the Clinton administration.

John F. Kennedy was quoted in 1963 as saying that "Dante (Alighreri) once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality." Perhaps Dr. Shalala has her own reasons but it appears that she is allowing herself and her university to be dragged through Hell and perhaps get stuck in Purgatory but not to ever reach Paradise (Divine Comedy). It is sad to watch.

gio. said...

thank you, ana!

Anonymous said...

Since all of you will be inhabiting your own special place in hell, perhaps you'll be her neighbors.

liza alwes said...

while i find it unnecessary to respond directly to somebody who can't think of anything to say but some nonsense about hell, for the sake of demonstrating solidarity with the condemned, i would be honored to occupy any space i could share with those whose hearts are filled with compassion and who stand up for what is right.