Crisis in Venezuela forces doctors to flee
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.