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USNS Comfort to remain in San Juan, receive patients directly

By on October 27, 2017

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced on Friday that the hospital ship USNS Comfort will remain at the San Juan dock, in a bid to provide greater access to patients and relief to hospitals in the metropolitan area.

The ship will dock from now on at the San Juan Port, where it will accept any patients who arrive to the ship, without the need to have a referral from another hospital, as it originally required.

According to Gov. Rosselló, the decision was made after he asked for the change.

“The Comfort will be docking in San Juan. It is going to be there to receive patients. You no longer have to go through the process that was taking place. So, at my request, the USNS Comfort will stay in San Juan,” the governor said.

He further explained that in the next few hours, the hospital ship would arrive at the pier of San Juan. “For all those in San Juan or in Puerto Rico who want to get there, the Comfort will be there and we will be giving more details on that particular.”

Previously, the USNS Comfort sailed around the island, receiving patients from six areas or hubs, which were hospitals in San Juan, Manatí, San Germán, Arecibo, Fajardo and Caguas.

Patients could only reach the ship via helicopters managed by the USNS Comfort itself, which severely limited the access of people outside the medical hubs.

The announcement comes at a time when many hospitals continue to operate with power generators in the face of a lack of energy. At the moment, the USNS Comfort, with 250 beds, has about 40 patients, but can receive up to 1,000.

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