Global Health Leaders Warn over Deteriorating Situation in Venezuela

A warning about the deteriorating health care situation in Venezuela has come from the World Medical Association, which is proposing to send a delegation to the country to investigate the crisis.

At their Council meeting in Zambia, WMA leaders heard from the Confederation of Latin American National Medical Associations (CONFEMEL) that restrictions on the professional freedom of physicians to practice medicine was leaving patients without basic medical care. They reported that medical prescriptions and laboratory tests were being restricted, leading to disappointed and sometimes angry patients.

Dr. Ketan Desai, President of the WMA, said: ‘We have been told that doctors in Venezuela feel helpless to resolve the situation, which is getting worse day by day. Junior doctors in particular are having to face angry patients and are often suicidal.

‘For the sake of patients and physicians in Venezuela this situation cannot be allowed to continue. We urge the Government of Venezuela to allocate the necessary resources to the health care system and to ensure the independence of physicians to allow them to deliver high quality medical care to their patients. At the moment patents’ fundamental rights to health are being violated’.

Dr. Desai said that WMA leaders and CONFEMEL would now consider sending a high level delegation to Venezuela to demonstrate the organisations’ full support for the country’s physicians and to report on the situation.

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