Venezuelan Doctors Start Hunger Strike over Medicine Shortages
EspañolSix doctors at the University Hospital at the University of Los Andes (ULA) in the southern Venezuelan city of Mérida started a hunger strike in response to shortages of medicine and supplies they need to treat patients.
After a meeting at the hospital, the six physicians decided to stop eating because they said the Venezuelan government continues to deceive the country about its dire situation while patients suffer from lack of supplies that could have otherwise easily cured them.
In addition to the harsh reality they claim to be enduring, the doctors made a series of threats and accusations that place much of the blame on the town’s governor.
They allege that healthcare does not have a political affiliation, and that their marches and protests are simply in support of the lives of their patients.
“We protest for a country that finds itself in a humanitarian health crisis, where its people die from lack of supplies, a country that dies slowly before the indolent gaze of the authorities.”
The doctors hope to call attention to the authorities in charge of healthcare in the country, and urged them to seek solutions to the Venezuelan crisis that sees medical supply shortages reaching 80 percent.
Pedro Fernández, Director of Doctors for Mérida, told the newspaper El Nacional that they are working to expose the crisis of the situation, even though the government is running media campaigns misleading patients and families.
Fernández explained that patients and families should find their medical supplies outside of the hospital to be able to get care. The director criticized the threats and actions against doctors who ask for supplies in order to save lives.
A physician spokesperson explained that the hunger strike started with six doctors and grew larger each day as more medical professionals joined in.
Additionally, teacher, student and administrative unions of the ULA formed a human chain to march for their labor rights as well as a proper salary from the University.