Venezuelans stopped being treated preventively due the costs of exams
The cost of laboratory tests has increased weekly and the bioanalysts’ guild – fears that Venezuelans would neglect preventive medicine if it would mean they can have food on the table. The College of Bioanalysts of the Capital District, notes that the most common routine examination is hematology and is costly (with prices starting at a minimum of USD 979).
At present, there is a shortage of 80% of reagents used in specialized tests such as thyroid hormones, prostate antigen or tumor markers for those who had cancer. The costs of routine prostate antigen testing to rule out prostate cancer in men aged 50 and above will increase from USD 1,182 to USD 5,902. Due to excessive costs, many Venezuelans would not go for preventative tests.
Ideally, every year Venezuelans need to have tests that costs between USD 1,182 and USD 2,939. The coagulation tests that must be performed for any patient undergoing surgery are not free in hospitals and in the private sector the minimum cost is USD 2,939. The union of bioanalysts stated that due to rising costs rigorous analysis required for identifying contagion of diseases in blood supplied for transfusions are neglected.
Analysis of samples of blood transfusions done in the last year reflected that the number of samples contaminated with HIV, Chagas, hepatitis or syphilis remains the same. The Municipal Bank of Blood of the Capital District, which is responsible for carrying out tests of blood samples coming from various hospitals has a limited supply of reagents. In these hospitals, they are making use of these reagents such that they are being used only for the important cases, in the intention that reagents will last longer.