March 21, 2018

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuelan hospitals are even worse off than we knew, an independent poll shows.

Even providing basic services has become an insurmountable task, according to the poll, with doctors in 79 percent of hospitals saying water is frequently unavailable and in 96 percent saying their kitchens cannot adequately feed patients.

Crumbling hospitals have become frightful snapshots of Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis, with their nonfunctioning bathrooms, unlit halls, lack of instruments needed for all types of surgeries and a crippling scarcity of medicines to treat ailments from kidney disease to HIV. Even usable blood is hard to come by.

Doctors in more than 80 percent of the hospitals polled said their emergency rooms were experiencing intermittent failures. In 15 percent of hospitals, doctors said operating rooms weren’t functioning, and in 80 percent they said rooms were often inoperative.

Seventy-nine percent of hospitals said they lacked basic surgical supplies such as gauze, gloves and compresses, and 84 percent reported having no catheters and tubes.

Ninety-four percent reported a frequent absence of X-ray equipment; 86 percent said they often could not perform ultrasounds; 96 percent said they often couldn’t offer CT scans, and 100 percent said their laboratories were not fully functioning given the scarcity of reagents.

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