20 Alaskan Hospitals Rationing Health Care As COVID Surge Overwhelms Facilities

Alaska’s COVID-19 surge has overwhelmed its limited hospital system, forcing 20 hospitals to enact crisis-of-care protocols where doctors sometimes prioritize treatment based on which patients have the best chance of surviving.

The largest hospital in the state, Providence Alaska Medical Center, was the first to ration health care as the hospital in Anchorage struggles to keep up with the pandemic. Anchorage’s two other hospitals and Fairbanks Memorial, as well as 16 others, have entered crisis care mode.

“Even though we live here, we’re concerned about Anchorage and Fairbanks,” said Alfred Jonathan, an elder in the Athabascan village Tanacross. “If somebody gets sick around there, there’s no place to take them.”

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