San Francisco, July 15th, 2014 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Over the past week, the Venezuelan government has approved a number of projects destined to expand preexisting public healthcare programs.
On Tuesday, the National Assembly approved Bs 1.14 billion for the health ministry to incorporate more doctors into the public health system and provide ample supplies and equipment for the nation’s hospitals, with emphasis on increased orthodontic equipment.
Meanwhile, a team of social missions provided services to over 624 communities this weekend as part of President Nicolas Maduro’s national campaign to eradicate extreme poverty. 27,411 mission workers and 9,361 medical students were dispersed to attend to the needs of 265,669 people, of which 81,634 live in extreme poverty.
The government healthcare mission Barrio Adentro, a program established by Hugo Chavez in 2003 to provide free medical and dental care, as well as sports training to marginalized communities, is also seeing important changes.
In response to community requests made through his “street government” initiative, Maduro has announced that 600 clinics across the country are currently under renovation. Almost one billion bolivars (US $20,400,00), were funneled into the clinics in the first trimester of 2014.
“Through the mission Barrio Adentro, we have provided over 600 million free consultations in 11 years,” said Barrio Adentro president Alberto Rondón on Saturday during an assembly in Catia La Mar, Vargas state. The meeting included healthcare professionals, community leaders, and local politicians, in order to revise the project’s advancement and address further regional needs. Similar meetings took place in 582 public clinics all over the country.
The National Assembly also approved yesterday articles 1 through 16 of the Telesalud Law, which proposes the digitalization of medical records for the purpose of providing virtual medical services, including prevention, diagnostics, rehabilitation, and consultation.
During the discussion, legislator Guido Ochoa, also president of the country’s Science Technology and Innovation Commission, said, “It is necessary and urgent to put fresh effort into the distribution of knowledge.”
The articles passed through a process of debate in April in various states, in accordance with lawful constitutional proceedings, before being voted upon by the National Assembly.