Brazil: Migrating Venezuelan population impacting Brazil’s healthcare system
The large number of Venezuelan population is migrating to Brazil due to the political and economic crisis in Venezuela. This has impacted the healthcare system of the border states in Brazil, Roraima.
According to official data around 12,000 people from Venezuela have entered the country since 2014. Hospitals in Roraima indicate that majority of the patients are Venezuelans. This is burdening the medical supplies of the region leading to critically low stock. According to Brazilian health professionals, Venezuelans usually arrive at hospitals in severe conditions requiring immediate medical attention.
Increase in incidence of diseases like HIV, tuberculosis and malaria has been observed. The hospitalization rate of Brazilians in the general hospital is 7% while that of Venezuelans reaches to 20%. Other countries in the region have also registered a significant increase in immigrants from Venezuela.
In addition, a significant increase in the number of asylum requests for Venezuelans has increased in the country reaching 2,595 in the first 11 months of 2016, against 54 in 2013. Despite the shortage of medicines and food in the Venezuela, bureaucratic obstacles hinder import of products.
It is of opinion that Brazil and other countries must press for Venezuela to accept international aid to minimize the impact of economic problems and the political crisis on the population.