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Cad Saude Publica. 2018 Mar 5;34(3):e00058517. doi: 10.1590/0102-311X00058517.

[The health system in Venezuela: a patient without medication?]

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

Author information

1
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.

Abstract

in English, Portuguese, Spanish

The situation in Venezuela is marked by a profound socioeconomic crisis that raises questions concerning its effects on the health system. The study's aim was to analyze the trends and current situation of the Venezuelan health system, with special emphasis on financing. Based on the World Health Organization's Framework for Action to Strengthen Health Systems, five of the system's six basic components were studied, along with the results in terms of coverage and the population's health. Healthcare financing in Venezuela proved to be primarily private, with a high and growing share of out-of-pocket expenditures, one of the highest in the world. The health sector is also assigned low fiscal priority, with a reduced public budget, vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices. Meanwhile, health services provision and effective access have been jeopardized in recent years due to the decreased availability of physicians, particularly in some specialties, gaps in provision and medical equipment in health centers, and shortage of medical inputs, medicines, and vaccines, among other factors, affecting the population's health, worsening of several indicators. The economy's structural characteristics and socioeconomic dynamics have impacted the Venezuelan health system, aggravating longstanding problems like the system's fragmentation, segmentation, and "privatization", triggering the emergence of new difficulties like shortage of medicines and lack of accountability, among others.

PMID:
29513861
DOI:
10.1590/0102-311X00058517
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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