- Title: Amid crisis, Venezuelan doctors protest conditions in hospitals
- Date: 17th May 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (MAY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) DEMONSTRATORS GATHERED IN FRONT OF NATIONAL POLICE DEMONSTRATORS IN WHITE COATS WITH SIGNS DEMONSTRATORS CHANTING (UNINTELLIGIBLE) POLICE WITH SHIELDS DEMONSTRATOR WITH WHITE COAT AND SIGN SIGN READING (IN SPANISH): "VARGAS DE CARACAS HOSPITAL" (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEMONSTRATOR, CARLOS PROSPERI, SAYING: "Today we are marching because we want a change with respect to the existing necessities in the hospitals because, really, for some 18, 19 years our hospitals have not had the provisions there should be, this has not been maintained, we need provisions, infrastructure, that operating theatres work, and our emergency centres too which are so deteriorated." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS FACING POLICE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WITH WHITE COATS AND SIGNS PROTESTERS CONFRONTING POLICE A PERSON WITH A SIGN READING (IN SPANISH): "DON'T GET ILL, THERE ARE NO MEDICINES" DEMONSTRATORS IN FRONT OF NATIONAL POLICE DEMONSTRATORS WITH A VENEZUELAN FLAG PERSON WITH A SIGN READING (IN SPANISH): "WE ARE LOOKING FOR A PRESIDENT WHO FEELS OUR CHILDREN'S PAIN DEMONSTRATORS WITH WHITE COATS AND SIGNS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEMONSTRATOR, JOSE ESTRADA, SAYING: "We are suffering a lack of medicine, we are suffering children's deaths, pregnant women dying who have had babies and there is no way of resolving the issue, no way of running the tests." DEMONSTRATORS GATHERED PEOPLE WITH CLOTHES READING (IN SPANISH): "CRISIS, HEALTH, VENEZUELA" DEMONSTRATORS MARCHING WITH SIGNS AND WHITE COATS
- Embargoed: 31st May 2017 19:24
- Keywords: hospitals riot gear Maduro Caracas
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016H8AFD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Health workers, patients and opposition protesters marched against the Venezuelan government in Caracas on Wednesday (May 17), just a few days after President Nicolas Maduro's government broke a nearly two-year silence on data that showed the country's medical crisis significantly worsening.
Demonstrators in white coats faced a heavy police presence in the capital as they marched with signs reading "Don't get ill. There is no medicine," adding to a wave of anti-government protests which have reached their sixth week, with at least 40 deaths.
Ministry data published this week showed cases of infant mortality rose 30 percent and maternal mortality 65 percent, while malaria shot up 76 percent last year. There was also a jump in illnesses such as diphtheria and Zika.
In the fourth year of a brutal recession, Venezuela is suffering widespread shortages of medicines and basic medical equipment. A leading pharmaceutical association has said the country is running short on roughly 85 percent of medicines.
On Friday (May 12), the government abruptly replaced the health minister as a show of action amid the crisis. Gynaecologist Antonieta Caporale, who held the post for just over four months, was replaced by pharmacist Luis Lopez, the government said.
The Health Ministry had stopped releasing figures after July 2015, amid a wider data blackout.
The Venezuelan government provides only the number of cases and percentage changes, rather than rates per thousand people, as most countries do, making useful comparisons with other time periods and countries impossible.
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