Curable diseases a death sentence in Venezuela’s crumbling hospitals

FRANCE 24 screengrab

Venezuela’s health system is in crisis. The shortages of medicine and medical equipment has resulted in a situation where curable diseases may now result in a death sentence. FRANCE 24 reports from Caracas.


After six years of President Nicolas Maduro’s rule, one of the country’s leading public cancer hospitals is now a mere skeleton of its former self. It now faces massive waiting lists of desperately ill patients, broken medical equipment and a lack of critical drugs.

Teresa Castillo has is one of the hospital’s many patients. She has breast cancer and she is understandably very afraid. Castillo knows the hospital does not have the resources to treat her, and tells us that her husband had to go to Colombia to get her medication.

"Sometimes I think I'm going to die because there just aren't the means to treat me. You arrive here in pain and there's not even any cotton wool or alcohol or anything. The doctors do their best for us but they have nothing," she told FRANCE 24.

With the salary for a doctor at just $10 a month, tens of thousands of the professionals have fled the country to seek a future elsewhere.

The country’s heath system was once a shining example in Latin America, but has been in dangerous decline for many years.

For the full report, please click on the player above.

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