The World Medical Association (WMA) has voiced grave concern over the “serious health crisis” in Venezuela.
Figures for 2016 released by the health ministry in May showed the maternal mortality had risen by 65 per cent, while infant mortality increased by 30 per cent on the previous year. Cases of malaria increased 76 per cent, while diphtheria affected 324 people, up from zero cases in 2015.
In a statement, the WMA said it was stepping up its support for the Venezuelan Medical Federation by calling on the Venezuelan Government to change Government policy and invest in health to prevent the situation from worsening and "inflicting permanent damage on the country".
The WMA President, Dr. Ketan Desai, has written to the President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro emphasising the immediacy of the situation. “Urgent action is desperately needed because of the scarcity of trained medical personnel. Dedicated physicians are working under appalling conditions, with low salaries and in insecure hospitals. Many are sadly leaving the country. This cannot be allowed to continue. Without a healthy population, Venezuela will find it difficult to develop and grow. The country’s health service and its suffering population deserve better from the Government,” Dr Desai said.