Venezuela: Approximately 50% of operating theaters in Venezuelan public hospitals are not functional

According to the National Survey of Hospitals 2017, 51% of operating theaters in public hospitals are not operational and 78% of these centers are short of medicines. The survey was conducted in 42 cities by Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) and the group “Doctors for Health”.

For the survey 23 hospitals in the capital of each state, university hospitals, 371 public and private hospitals, 92 hospitals Type II, Type III, Type IV (large hospitals) were considered. Around 97% of the country’s public health laboratories had shortage of reagents to perform the medical tests. This implies that patients were forced to go private laboratories to perform their medical tests.

Out of pocket pay decreased from 81% in 2016 to 75% in 2017. Around 64% of the pediatric wards in the hospitals had shortage of milk formulas while the same percentage of kitchens of public hospitals were not operational because of no food supplies.

The survey also revealed that 89% of X-ray equipment is either non-operational or intermittent, 71% of hospitals do not have working ultrasound equipment and 94% of CT scans are not functional.

On the contrary, private sector hospitals have 100% of beds and operating rooms in working condition. The private sector treats 55% of Venezuelans. The country has been experiencing medicine shortage for over two years. Physicians and representatives of the public health sector have repeatedly condemned the infrastructure conditions of hospitals, the lack of medicines, as well as the shortage of medical supplies.


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