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Cablegate: Tfha01: Facilitating Colombian Acceptance of Haitian

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0247/01 0432222
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 122222Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2824
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0047
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 000247

SIPDIS
1TFK@STATE.GOV, WHA/CAR FOR V DE PIRRO AND IO/UNP FOR B NARANJO AND M GARUCKIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID PGOV HHS CO PREL HA
SUBJECT: TFHA01: FACILITATING COLOMBIAN ACCEPTANCE OF HAITIAN
PATIENTS

1. (SBU) Summary. Embassy Bogota has framed out the procedures to
facilitate the transfer of Haitian earthquake patients to Colombia
for long-term post-operative care. Key points of contact have been
established with the Government of Colombia (GOC) and the Haitian
Ministry of Health. Post and GOC officials are collaborating to
develop a system for patient identification, transfer and long-term
care in Colombia. End Summary.

GOC EVALUATING INTAKE OF HAITIAN PATIENTS

-----------------------------------------

2. (U) As part of the international relief effort for Haitian
disaster victims, the Embassy is working to facilitate the
placement of post-operative Haitian patients in Colombia. Colombia
was identified as an appropriate recipient country based on its
health care services and close bilateral relationship with the
United States.

3. (SBU) On February 5, Emboffs met with Carlos Ignacio Cuervo
Valencia, Vice Minister of Social Protection, to discuss Colombia's
potential role in the growing need for post-operative care for
Haitian patients. As a result, the Ministry of Social Protection
(MSP) is working to identify hospital facilities that have the
capacity to receive patients. Representatives from the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) also attended, and were tasked with
discerning how the GOC can accept incoming patients and family
members within the framework of Colombia's laws and regulations.

4. (SBU) The MFA requested that the Embassy send a letter outlining
the USG's request for collaboration on Haitian patient care. The
Deputy Chief of Mission sent the requested letter on

February 11, and the MFA met the same day to internally outline the
GOC's response.

POTENTIAL SYSTEM FOR PATIENT IDENTIFICATION, TRANSFER AND CARE

--------------------------------------------- -----------------

5. (SBU) A system for patient identification, transfer and care of
Haitian patients is currently being developed. Given the
capacities and expectations of the GOC ministries currently engaged
in discussions, and the committee for patient management in Haiti,
the system may evolve as outlined:

Health Ministry to Identify Hospitals

--------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Dr. Luis Fernando Correa, Coordinator of the MSP
Emergency Group is tasked with identifying Colombia Hospitals able
to accept Haitian patients in need of post-operative care. Dr.
Correa informs the MFA of availability. As of February 10, Dr.
Correa had identified up to 20 beds available for Haitian patients
and was seeking written commitment from the hospitals.

GOC Coordination with Haitian Officials

---------------------------------------


7. (SBU) The MFA will lead the GOC's interaction with Government
of Haiti (GOH) MOH and would be tasked with the following:

1) The MFA contacts GOH Minister of Health liaison Dr. Jack
LaFontant, requesting the number of patients and patient condition.

2) MFA provides for the patients' and accompanying family members'
non-medical needs including room, board and translation services.

3) MFA coordinates with GOC Administrative Department of Security
(DAS) to ensure entry status of the patient and accompanying family
member.

4) MFA assesses transportation needs and initiates request with GOC
Ministry of Defense and/or USG if using Colombia-based assets.

Haitian Authorities Organize Release of Patients

--------------------------------------------- ----

8. (SBU) GOH MOH identifies patients and approves transfer to
Colombia. Dr. Jack LaFontant -- appointed by the Haitian Ministry
of Health (MOH) to liaise with the USNS COMFORT in Port au Prince
(PauP) -- works directly with USG and NGO community on the Medical
Review Board to assess patients and identify those for transfer.
Ron Waldman (USAID) in PauP, also serves on the Medical Review
Board.

Transportation of Patients from Haiti to Colombia

--------------------------------------------- -----

9. (SBU) On a case-by-case basis, there are two possible options
for transporting Haitian patients to Colombia -- one involving
SOUTHCOM and the second, Colombian air assets:

1) US SOUTHCOM is currently in Phase 2 of providing assistance to
Haiti. As such, Department of Defense (DOD) assets can be requested
on a specific, case by case basis and dispatched via request thru
Joint Task Force-Haiti. When US SOUTHCOM enters Phase 3, their
ability to access the required funding lines (Overseas Humanitarian
Disaster Assistance and Civil Aid) will be greatly reduced.

2) According to assessments by U.S. Military Group in Colombia, the
Colombian Military has the capability to configure existing assets
for MEDEVAC airlift (mass casualty configuration) and provide the
appropriate flight-medical crew for up to 30 patients. For the
transfer of one or two patients, the Colombian Air Force has two
Beech King Air 350 air ambulances in their inventory (pressurized)
and four Cessna Caravan air ambulances (non-pressurized). To
access these resources, a request for MEDEVAC support must go to
the Ministry of Defense.

CONTACT INFORMATION


--------------------

Jorge Hernan Jaramillo Carmona

First Secretary - Central America and Caribbean Affairs Desk

First Geographic Directorate for the Americas

Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tel. (571)-3814000 Ext 1722.

Direct Line (571)-3814142

jorge.jaramillo@cancilleria.gov.co

Dr. Luis Fernando Correa

Coordinator of the MSP Emergency Group

Colombian Ministry of Social Protection

Tel 571- 3305071

3305000 ext 1710

lcorrea@minproteccionsocial.gov.co

Dr. Jack LaFontant

Haitian Ministry of Health Liaison for USNS COMFORT and USG

Coordination

PauP Medical Review Board

Cell(s): 3401-1167, 3555-7692

jglafontant@msn.com

Ron Waldman

USAID in PauP

PauP Medical Review Board

rwaldman@usaid.gov
BROWNFIELD

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