Cri­sis in Venezuela forces doc­tors to flee

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

More than half of Venezuela’s doc­tors have been forced to flee the coun­try’s crush­ing eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal cri­sis, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by health NGOS. Ac­cord­ing to an AFP story, the re­port said that “be­tween 2012 and 2017, 22,000 Venezue­lan doc­tors mi­grated” — 55 per cent of the to­tal 39,000 doc­tors reg­is­tered by the Panamer­i­can Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2014”. Some 6,000 nurses — nearly a quar­ter of Venezuela’s to­tal — also left the coun­try dur­ing the same pe­riod. The NGO re­port — “The right to health, the com­plex hu­man­i­tar­ian emer­gency in Venezuela” — was en­dorsed by 12 non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions for pa­tient rights. Out of Venezuela’s pop­u­la­tion of 30 mil­lion, some “18.7 mil­lion have no guar­an­tees of ac­cess to di­ag­no­sis or treat­ment,” it said. It adds up to “a hu­man­i­tar­ian emer­gency,” the NGOS said. The health cri­sis is ex­ac­er­bated by an acute short­age of medicines in phar­ma­cies and hos­pi­tals across the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to trade as­so­ci­a­tions. With hy­per­in­fla­tion ex­pected to reach 1.3 mil­lion per cent in 2018, the few medicines avail­able are unattain­able for most of the pop­u­la­tion, as is pri­vate health care. Oil in­come-de­pen­dent Venezuela’s eco­nomic woes be­gan in 2014 with the crash in the price of crude.

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