Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Without Responders

Living in the north shore most of us don't think about what would happen if we or a family member had a medical emergency. An ambulance would only be a call away and we would be brought to a hospital in almost no time. Living in a rural or very urban area might be a different story but after reading this New York Times article on health care in Alaska it put things in a different prospective.

The article discussed the many decisions that must be made when an emergency call comes. First, the season must be taken into account. According to the article, during late may "the Kuskokwim River is choked with unstable melting ice" which broadens the isolation of people living across the river even more. The article even goes as far to say, "If you have a road, you're not remote." This provocative statement really shows how isolated people are from each other in certain parts of Alaska.

                                                           The Kuskokwim River

Similarly to other rural areas in the United States or the "lower 48" as referred to in the article, the lack of doctors or nurses in villages also proves to be problematic. In the village of Atmautluak, a women who is only 25 years old is the only community health aide. The continuing lack of education makes this problem constant from generation to generation. What do you think could be one possible solution to rural Alaska emergency responder problems?

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