Venezuela’s Public Hospitals in Decline

By Onai

HAVANA TIMES – In Venezuela the Public Health System does not escape the government policies of misery to which most of the population is subjected.

The main public hospitals throughout the country lack the supplies to guarantee this fundamental right: adequate, free and dignified medical care.

From a simple sheet of paper to write a medical report to gloves or cotton to make a cure, all expenses fall on the patient and their family. It is not just about paying for the treatment, which is difficult, if not impossible, for thousands of retirees.

From the simplest blood test to the most advanced ones such as nuclear medicine, they are priced in US dollars. Patients who need operations must not only wait long hours for a hospital bed, they must purchase all of the surgical and recovery supplies. And this also includes prosthetics.

All this becomes very expensive and unpayable for people who only earn a minimum wage of $2 to $4 per month, but also those who receive salaries in the private sector, which can reach up to $100.

In both public and private sectors there is no longer any health insurance or other contractual benefits.

In Venezuela, there are just over 300 Public Hospitals, 457 private for-profit and non-profit ones, and 14 specialty hospitals in the Barrio Adentro service for a population of almost 30 million inhabitants.

See more from Onai’s illustrated diary here.