Venezuela’s Public Sector Physicians to Receive Pay Increases

Wage increases designed to equalize incomes in the public health sector were approved yesterday for Venezuelan doctors working in the country’s Ministry of Health.

By Edward Ellis - Venezuelanalysis.com
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Merida, March 11th, 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Wage increases designed to equalize incomes in the public health sector were approved yesterday for Venezuelan doctors working in the country’s Ministry of Health.

President Hugo Chavez made the announcement from the Municipal Theater in Caracas during an address celebrating Venezuela’s National Doctor’s Day. 

The increases will be retroactive from March 1st of this year and will benefit some 12 thousand doctors.

According to professionals in the field, pay inequalities have existed between physicians working for the country’s Social Security Institute (IVSS) and those working for the Ministry of Health. 

“There has always been a difference [in pay] between social security doctors and those working in the ministry,” Chávez said yesterday, pointing to the higher bonuses that social security doctors receive.  “It’s a fair complaint being made by Venezuelan doctors,” he noted. 

The measures announced yesterday will equalize the salaries of the two groups of doctors with an overall pay increase of 40% being planned for May of this year.    

With this new pay increase, doctor’s salaries will have increased by 500% over the past 10 years of the current government.

During the address, the head of state commented on the importance of doctors to Venezuela’s revolutionary process.

“Doctors are playing a decisive role through their example and their ability to carry forward this revolutionary battle,”  he said. 

“It’s evident that more and more are joining in the construction of a dignified public health system for the Venezuelan people.”

Chávez also highlighted the gains made by Mission Barrio Adentro, the health program which employs Cuban doctors and grants free public healthcare in Venezuela. 

Barrio Adentro I, the phase of the program which offers basic medical consultations, receives an average of 56 million patients every year.  

In the more advanced clinics of Barrio Adentro II, an average of 8.5 million people receive free medical attention every year and some 39,000 operations are performed.