Before receiving their state medical license in Haiti, the Ministry of Health requires medical practitioners to spend one year in an underserved area of the country. These sites are pre-selected by the Secretary of Health and are barely modified over time. Clinique Esperance et Vie has been fortunate enough to be one of the selected clinics for the past 10 years. Most recently, two general practitioners have been serving in the clinic and a small monthly stipend is paid to them by the State. This program, called the Social Service Residency, has been such a blessing to the Clinic and the people of northeast Haiti.
Dr. Jean-Baptiste Loubents, Social Service Resident from the Ministry of Health (Left)
& Dr. Bendson Louima, Clinic Medical Director (Right)
So how does all this work?
All selections are made in a single day. Based on the order of school performance, candidates are called to pick a site on the spot. Since the government stipend is very low (and often late in arriving), most candidates will select a clinic where they know by word of mouth that they will be able to moonlight at a second job in order to have enough money to live on. The stipend they receive is not enough to pay for room and board and food.
Bethlehem Ministry Board member, Dr. Jean-Luc Franck, a nephrologist now living in Florida, served his year in 2003-2004. At that time, he was making around $60 a month. It is very difficult to survive in a new place on that salary so he opted for Grand Goave to be close to his family in Port Au Prince, but candidates pick their sites based on multiple factors.
As a result of his own experience, Dr. Franck had the idea of developing something similar to a job fair, where we could clearly present advantages such as the beauty of the Terrier Rouge community, a supplemental stipend, and perhaps arrangement for lodging. In doing this, we could attract the best doctors to serve Clinique Esperance et Vie for an entire year. With the right incentives, he feels we will have a great deal of interest. We are asking for your help in providing this incentive.
Choose to become a Clinic Sustainer at $200 a month, and we can entice young doctors, specialists, and nurses graduating at the top of their class to make Terrier Rouge and Clinique Esperance et Vie their home for a year, bringing the very best medical care to northeast Haiti! Imagine, just $2,400 a year to bring quality doctors to the Clinique. This is what is possible when we work together - we can make a difference in Haiti!