Chávez Foe Convicted Over Remarks
Chávez-nomics has been even more devastating for doctors in the public hospitals. Dr. Douglas León Natera of the Venezuelan Medical Federation (FMV) told El Universal on June 16 that doctors earn a mere 2,600 bolivars (roughly $325 at the market exchange rate) monthly, and that even though hospitals have become targets of the country’s rising crime, the government has failed to provide protection for health-care staff. Doctors also cite scarce and low-quality resources and long hours. On June 30 the FMV called a strike to protest low pay and arduous working conditions. Last week Mr. Chávez offered them a 30% raise. They refused to yield. They are, however, continuing to treat urgent cases.
Pharmaceutical importers have been reluctant to complain publicly about their difficulties; large companies that offend Mr. Chávez can become targets of nationalization. It’s a bit more difficult to nationalize a doctor. A strike is just one option. Many of Venezuela’s best doctors have fled the country, which explains how it is, according to the FMV, that in public hospitals there are 130,000 patients waiting for surgery.
In its 2010 annual report, the ministry of health acknowledged the shortage of doctors, particularly in specialties such as anesthesiology, neonatal care, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery and child cardiology. Private hospitals are also deteriorating now as the poor turn up for care with government medical insurance, but the insurer doesn’t fulfill its obligation to pay.
The week’s posts,
Chavez going to Cuba, not Brazil, for chemo VIDEO
Chavez heading to Brazil for healthcare?
WaPo notices the Castro-Chavez ties
Cuba’s Misery in Dollar Terms [UPDATED, JM]
Chavez now reading Nietzsche