Editor’s Note: People who have been through a collapse, like Jose and Selco, know for a fact what it is like to live in a place where there are no hospitals, little medicine, and few professionals. In this article, Jose gives us a glimpse of what life is like without medical care as he shares how the public health system in Venezuela collapsed. ~ Daisy
The access to the public health system in Venezuela hasn’t been good since the middle 70s. In the bigger cities, things were more or less decent until the middle 80s. This system, based on mere profits as quotas or portions from the oil revenues, while the population was not very large, reached a critical mass level. The crumbs from such revenues (where most of this income was stolen or sent outside of the country) allowed us to avoid the total collapse of the health system. Despite being bigger every year, the infrastructure of the system could not hold up against the corruption.
In such a fast-growing population as ours, this was the prelude to a total disaster. At first, people thought this was not important; money and work were enough. The major concern of the people was finding a place to live (buying a plot and building a house with their own effort was something that people did not do, except for some eccentric persons that earned the respect and admiration of their neighborhood). If the government built the house and you ended up paying an insignificant quota, much better. Usually, in 4 or 5 years the inflation would eat that debt, like it happened with our mortgage. Anyway, this was more or less the general status quo in the middle 80s.
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