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News > Haiti

Haiti: Criminal Gang Frees Kidnapped Doctor

  • Dr. Berthony François was released for ransom. Jan. 15, 2024.

    Dr. Berthony François was released for ransom. Jan. 15, 2024. | Photo: X/@t_mamit

Published 15 January 2024
Opinion

The secretary general of the Haitian Medical Association, Dr. Ardouin Louis-Charles protested against the negative effects of insecurity in the health sector, where many professionals are murdered, victims of kidnappings and others are missing.
 

On Sunday, local radio reported that the director of the Élohim Medical Complex, Dr. Berthony Francois, had been released after being kidnapped by a criminal gang in the center of the Haitian capital.

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Francois was kidnapped on January 11 and in order to free him the family had to pay a ransom, the amount of which is still unknown.

In this regard, the secretary general of the Haitian Medical Association, Dr. Ardouin Louis-Charles, denounced that the existing problems in the health sector in Haiti are compounded by the damage caused by armed gangs carrying out extortive kidnappings against doctors.

He condemned this situation, highlighting the stressful working conditions of doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians in a context of precarious security, where their work is crucial and difficult.

The tweet reads, "Dr. Berthony François was released last night for ransom. The news was confirmed by a person close to the doctor contacted by Métronome. The amount of the ransom has not been disclosed. Dr. François was kidnapped on Thursday, January 11 in rue de la réunion (Port-au-Prince)."

Louis-Charles protested against the negative impacts of insecurity in his sector, where many professionals are murdered, victims of kidnappings, and others are missing.

One of them is physician Samson Marseille, head of the Department of Epidemiology, Laboratory and Research of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, kidnapped on July 28, 2023, Louis-Charles said in a statement.

"Some fellow doctors never regained their freedom, not even after paying ransoms," the doctor lamented.

Bandits weaken the sector, he said, while expressing his uneasiness about the closure of certain hospitals due to insecurity.

The sanatorium specializing in the treatment of tuberculosis and chronic infectious lung diseases closed following the invasion of criminal gangs.

Meanwhile, other health institutions are operating slowly and care centers that also teach are unable to train aspiring health workers.

He denounced how the migration programs of Canada and the United States have a negative impact on the Caribbean country, as they generate an exodus of professionals and students in the health field.

This means that the population will face a serious shortage of healthcare providers in the coming years, warned the secretary general of the AMH.

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