The grocery store shelves and people’s pantries are not the only way in which the people of Venezuela are suffering during the current economic crisis. Medical facilities are also feeling the pinch, which is being passed off to consumers.
Multiple reports regarding the lack of medical supplies and adequate care, particularly in emergency rooms, have reached the United States. The Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela leader David Osio has issued statements that the country is lacking “as much as 80% of the needed medical supplies needed within the country.” Doctors and medical facility staff members have reported that they often do not have proper lighting available or even paper to write prescriptions.
Hospital patients and doctors agree. One patient, treated for a potentially fatal gunshot wound, stated that he has had to pay to purchase needed medical supplies out of his pocket to receive immediate life-saving treatment. Others reported that they have had to wait months for important surgical procedures for the same reason.
Multiple patients reported that they kept their money well hidden while hospitalized for fear that others would steal it. Other patients reported their money and property was stolen as they slept, leaving them unable to pay for continued care.
“Venezuela’s economy has been in a rapid downward spiral” says Osio. Food, detergents, diapers, and even water and electricity are now rationed by the government. According to CNN, President Nicolas Maduro has denied the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded in his country.