Venezuela’s crumbling health system leaves impoverished patients to die

The dire state of Venezuela’s health system has forced thousands to flee abroad for treatment. The shortages of both medicines and functioning medical equipment mean that an otherwise curable disease can quickly translate into a death sentence. For cancer patients, the situation is particularly alarming. FRANCE 24 reports.

In Caracas, one of the country’s leading public hospitals on cancer has under President Nicolas Maduro’s six-year rule withered into a skeleton facility, lacking both sufficient drugs and equipment.

Teresa Castillo is one of the hospital’s many patients. She has breast cancer, but the resources to treat her are limited.

"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."

The crisis has resulted in tens of thousands of doctors and richer patients looking for options abroad.