Health Centers in Puerto Rico: Operational Status after Hurricane Maria

With devastating force, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a category 4 storm, wreaking havoc on the island’s residents and its infrastructure. In the aftermath of the hurricane, with power and communications disrupted, the island’s health care system is slowly recovering. Community health centers are a critical part of the health care system—20 federally funded health centers provide primary and preventive care services at 93 urban and rural sites across the island. In 2016, health centers in Puerto Rico served 352,172 patients, over one in ten residents, and provided more than 1.5 million patient visits, including over 84,000 oral health visits and over 68,000 visits for mental health and addiction services. Four months after the hurricane, these health centers have seen improvements but still face many challenges.

Almost all health centers in Puerto Rico are open (one mobile van remains closed for repairs), but the lack of power remains a critical problem for some. While improvements have been made in restoring power, approximately 1 in 6 (16%), of the permanent health center sites on the island remain without power and are operating with generators. Because of the problems with the power supply, some of these health centers have limited their hours of operation or have limited the services they are able to provide. Health centers also face communication barriers. One in five operating sites continues to lack landline and satellite communication as well as internet access. Despite these challenges, health centers are providing essential primary care and mental health services to the residents of Puerto Rico as they struggle to recover and rebuild in the wake of the storm. Based on information collected by the Asociacion de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, Inc. (ASPPR), the interactive map below provides a snapshot of the operational status of the 93 health center sites as of January 5, 2018.

Table 1: Puerto Rico Health Center Sites and Total Patients, 2016
 Health Center Name City Total Sites Total Patients
BARCELONETA PRIMARY HEALTH SERVICES, INC BARCELONETA 2 15,658
CAMUY HEALTH SERVICES, INC. CAMUY 1 13,336
CASTANER GENERAL HOSPITAL CASTANER 2 10,626
CENTRO DE SALUD DE LARES, INC. LARES 2 16,340
CENTRO DE SALUD FAMILIAR (PALMIERI) ARROYO 3 13,150
CENTRO DE SERVICIOS PRIMARIOS DE SALUD INC FLORIDA 1 13,877
CONCILIO DE SALUD INTEGRAL DE LOIZA, INC LOIZA 3 13,583
CONSEJO DE SALUD DE PUERTO RICO, INC. PONCE 11 40,265
CORPORACION DE SERVICIOS DE SALUD Y MEDICINA AVANZADA CIDRA 6 27,960
CORPORACION DE SERVICOS MEDICOS PRIMARIOS Y PREVENCION DE HATILLO HATILLO 7 16,505
CORPORACION SANOS CAGUAS 3 5,713
COSTA SALUD COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS INC RINCON 2 12,454
HPM FOUNDATION, INC. SAN JUAN 5 14,540
MIGRANT HEALTH CENTER, WESTERN REGION, INC MAYAGUEZ 12 23,985
MOROVIS COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER, INC. MOROVIS 1 13,083
MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN SAN JUAN 4 947
NEOMED CENTER INC GURABO 7 34,545
PATILLAS COMMUNITY GOVERNING BOARD PATILLAS 4 19,064
PRYMED MEDICAL CARE, INC. CIALES 2 14,432
SALUD INTEGRAL EN LA MONTANA, INC. NARANJITO 8 32,109
Total   86 352,172
Source: Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, Puerto Rico 2016 Health Center Profile.