Venezuela’s fast-track doctors

The Latin American Herald Tribune has an editorial responding to VenEconomy: The Army of White-Coats

VenEconomy claims that,

“We are introducing to the country the new Army of White-Coats, the socialist doctors, doctors for socialism, for life.” With those words, President Hugo Chávez presented the 8,581 fifth-year medical students who joined the national hospital network on June 14 to start their internships.

The LAHT notes, however,

So far, there is little worthy of comment, apart from the fact that a group of professionals who should be trained to save lives are starting out to the sound of “fatherland, socialism or death.” And, it would only be wise to warn that this contingent of students are starting their internships with the handicap of doing it three years behind their future colleagues, the students who have graduated from the country’s traditional medical schools.

The controversy over this education program has to do with the fact that, once again, the government is engaging in its practice of creating parallel systems to replace what already exists, even when, as in the case of medical training, what is offered in Venezuela has traditionally met international standards.

This puts the students at a huge disadvantage:

On the other, and even more serious, are the false expectations that are being raised in these young Venezuelans with regard to their professional future, which inevitably depends on an evaluation of their abilities and skills in practicing medicine. Unfortunately, in the case of the general community doctors, they are starting off at a disadvantage owing to numerous gaps in their training in priority subjects for any doctor anywhere.

Once again, the government is putting the interests of a political project above the professional and technical training of the individual. This is particularly serious in this case, as those professionals are doctors, and what is at risk are people’s lives.

And the patients pay for it.

But no matter: expect the Left to praise Venezuela’s “excellent free health-care system” the way they do with Cuba.

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