"Civil and political rights are critical, but not often the real problem for the destitute sick. My patients in Haiti can now vote but they can't get medical care or clean water."
"I'm not feeling very well - I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course."Paul Farmer on Groucho Marx
"A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running."Paul Farmer on Groucho Marx
"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died."Paul Farmer on Erma Bombeck
"They certainly give very strange names to diseases."Paul Farmer on Plato
"Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You're not out of it until the computer says you're out of it."Paul Farmer on Erma Bombeck
"Anywhere you have extreme poverty and no national health insurance, no promise of health care regardless of social standing, that's where you see the sharp limitations of market-based health care."
"But if you're asking my opinion, I would argue that a social justice approach should be central to medicine and utilized to be central to public health. This could be very simple: the well should take care of the sick."
"We've taken on the major health problems of the poorest - tuberculosis, maternal mortality, AIDS, malaria - in four countries. We've scored some victories in the sense that we've cured or treated thousands and changed the discourse about what is possible."
"The biggest public health challenge is rebuilding health systems. In other words, if you look at cholera or maternal mortality or tuberculosis in Haiti, they're major problems in Haiti, but the biggest problem is rebuilding systems."
"So I can't show you how, exactly, health care is a basic human right. But what I can argue is that no one should have to die of a disease that is treatable."
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