December 20, 2017
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services update on response & recovery missions in Puerto Rico
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mobilized assistance in Puerto Rico since before Hurricane Maria made landfall to meet immediate health care needs and prepare for the long-term challenges facing the U.S. territory.
To date, HHS has:
- deployed 3,037 personnel;
- assisted 31,011 patients;
- awarded 130 contracts for medical supplies, equipment and related services;
- moved 349 tons of medical caches; and
- distributed more than 1.5 million health education fact sheets on 16 health issues.
“As part of the Trump Administration’s response in Puerto Rico, HHS has been on the front lines responding from day one,” said Acting HHS Secretary Eric D. Hargan. “I have seen firsthand the outstanding work of more than 3,000 HHS personnel who were deployed to Puerto Rico and couldn’t be more proud of their work.”
The health care system in Puerto Rico is recovering, and health care services are stabilizing. In Puerto Rico:
- 100 percent of hospitals are open;
- 90 percent of outpatient emergency rooms are open;
- 94 percent of dialysis centers are open;
- 99.7 percent of pharmacies are open; and
- 99 percent of HRSA-funded health center sites are seeing patients.
HHS agencies will continue to work with leaders in Puerto Rico on health system recovery. This work includes:
- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising on public health, disease surveillance and injury prevention;
- the Administration for Children and Families providing technical assistance on family services, including schools;
- the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration addressing behavioral health concerns and long-term treatment needs;
- the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services continuing to provide administrative flexibilities for Medicare and Medicaid; and
- the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continuing to work with Puerto Rico and its considerable drug and medical device manufacturing base to ensure that supply of these products is maintained.
Information on health, safety and HHS actions are available at www.phe.gov/emergency. Public Service Announcements with post-storm health tips are available at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/index.html. Residents in the continental United States are encouraged to provide these tips to family members and friends in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.