The problem documented in the Mother Jones article began in the Spring of 2009, more than three years ago. This was one of the danger transition times at Peace Corps when the administration was in flux because of the political changes brought about by the election. There was rapid staff turnover. In 2009, the Director resigned on January 20th and the permanent Director was not sworn in until August. This period in 2009 also saw the murder in Benin of Kate Puzey in March. During this time also, RPCV J. Larry Brown documents the chaotic administrative directives from Washington to his Country Director post in Uganda in his memoir, Peasants Come Last.
Since that time, there have been changes in the support Volunteers receive who are medically evacuated. From page 91 of the current Annual Report:
• Analysis of medical evacuations: Volunteers are medically evacuated from their country of service when thePeace Corps can no longer fully support their medical needs at post. Analysis showed that medical evacuations and consultations from care providers have increased in recent years. As a result, the agency has allocated additional resources to support and care for medically evacuated Volunteers. The new medical evacuation support team, based at the headquarters in Washington, D.C., meets Volunteers at the airport, ensures they receive the care they need, and connects them with local resources. In a survey conducted in FY 2012 of medically evacuated Volunteers, 98 percent responded that they were very satisfied with the services provided by the agency.
This report also includes a summary of the annual Volunteer survey. The survey asks about medical help during service. The survey notes that goal was met in this area. The annual Volunteer survey does NOT include recently returned Volunteers. I think it should. Surveying RPCVs within one year of return would be one way to consistently document Peace Corps response to medical needs of RPCVs. I do not mean to argue that such a survey would solve the problem of inadequate post service medical care, but it would document it. Read the annual report. Peace Corps Annual Report of 2012
Not one Volunteer or RPCV should ever fall through the rabbit hole that is the Peace Corps bureaucracy. More than improved procedures are needed. More than annual surveys of RPCVs are needed. Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hisrschoff described a plan to reform Peace Corps in a July 24, 2009 Memorandum to Director-Designate Aaron Williams. The Memorandum was first published in Peace Corps Online. Read this report. ludlam-hirschoff-plan
Finally, we are currently in a Transition Time. There are still no plans to provide for continuity during this administrative change over. Time and time again, we have seen the consequences to vulnerable serving Volunteers of this failure.