But corruption and incompetence have slowed the tide. "It's not only a matter of money," insists Gabriel Thimothé, general director of Haiti's Health Ministry. "We need to train more people to provide good quality of care. And we need to reorganize the health-care system." After the earthquake, foreign NGOs, or nongovernmental organizations, overran Haiti, he says, but the country cannot remain reliant on international aid. He suggests taxes on cigarettes and luxury goods to improve health care. "We need to have some funds of our own," he argues.

The Bitar brothers and Dr. Barth Green believe Bernard Mevs can be a template for Haiti's much-needed national health-care overhaul. They have asked Martelly to institute a $10 tax on visitors to Haiti to fund a $149 million upgrade to the health-care system, and they have plans to build a training facility in the hospital. Another NGO, Partners in Health, has broken ground on a large teaching hospital 20 miles outside of Port-au-Prince.

"Bernard Mevs needs to be replicated," Martelly said during his recent visit to the hospital. "Health care has been a problem in Haiti for a very long time. I am proud to see such a big project in Haiti, and I will help them replicate it."

EMT Aaron Pugmire inspects a young boy's infected eye on a street in downtown Port-au-Prince. "Every time I leave the hospital, I come back with a patient," Pugmire says.
Photo by George Martinez
EMT Aaron Pugmire inspects a young boy's infected eye on a street in downtown Port-au-Prince. "Every time I leave the hospital, I come back with a patient," Pugmire says.
Truck driver Amazan Jean-Uber was shot by bandits. The bullet lodged in his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Photo by George Martinez
Truck driver Amazan Jean-Uber was shot by bandits. The bullet lodged in his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

But internal wrangling has slowed the plan, and nearly two months after Martelly's inauguration, there is still no prime minister — let alone a minister of health — to approve Medi­share's plan for a teaching facility.  "For months, everyone was really waiting to see who the next president was," says Dr. Gillian Hotz, international director for Medishare. "Now Micky Martelly has his own people, his own ideas, his own discussions of what health care is going to look like. The country has been at a standstill." 

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