The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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October 13, 2000 Issue
Local News

Pilot project seeks to improve health standards

Program seks to expand medical care in Elias Piña

By Tony Staley
Compass Editor

To improve health standards in Elias Piña, the government is beginning a pilot program there modeled after one used in Costa Rica, said Juan Secundino, an official in the Dominican Republic's public health department.

It involves forming 10 five-member health teams, each of which includes a general practitioner physician, auxiliary nurses and social workers who go door-to-door checking on the health and living conditions of each family.

The plan calls for providing health care as close as possible to where the people live. Thus, the simplest and highest number of cases would be treated at the hospital in Elias Piña. More complex cases would go to a regional hospital and only the most complex would be sent to the national hospital, unlike what has been the case where local health care has been limited.

When asked if he thought the pilot program would work, Secundino cautioned, "You can't change a system that's been defective since 1844 in two years. It's an evolutionary process. You have to change attitudes first."

Each team will be responsible for 400-500 families or 2,500-3,500 persons. Training for team members was conducted in Biblioteca San Francisco Javier - the library operated by St. Therese Parish and made possible by donations from people in the Green Bay Diocese.

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