Collapse of health system condemned by World Medical Association

The collapse of the public health care system in Nicaragua and the breakdown of medical ethics and human rights in the country have been condemned by the World Medical Association.

Referring to the rapidly deteriorating situation in the country, WMA President Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura said that attacks on health workers, medical vehicles and hospitals were unacceptable.

He went on: ‘The WMA supports the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in calling on the Nicaraguan Government to immediately end this state of affairs.

‘Law and order have broken down, access to basic health care is being curbed, autopsies are being interfered with and public hospitals and clinics are turning away injured protesters. This cannot continue.

‘We have reports that hospitals are closing their gates to wounded patients, that doctors and other health personnel are being pressurised not to attend the wounded and that medical supplies are being restricted.

‘In addition, armed gangs last week destroyed two vehicles being used by health workers to eliminate mosquitoes and fight diseases, such as dengue and malaria.

‘There are even reports of doctors and medical students being kidnapped.

‘The Government of Nicaragua has a duty to end this clear violation of human rights. It is their duty to ensure that basic health care is restored without delay and that health care personnel and medical facilities are protected.’