25 feb. 2008

“Investment in the Health Area in Venezuela is one of the Highest in the Region”

“Venezuela is among the countries with the highest investment in the health sector in the region,” said the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, on Tuesday.

Chávez announced on a nationwide radio and television broadcast the progress achieved in health issues in Venezuela during the opening of the Hospital Dr. Osío de Cúa, located in Rafael Urdaneta Municipality, Miranda State (North-center).

Furthermore, Venezuela's President stressed that the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) destined for the health sector increased from 2.8 percent in 1997 to 6 percent in 2007, which places Venezuela among the leaders in the continent.

Regarding the average of doctors every 100 thousand inhabitants, he pointed out that the ratio increased from 20 to 59.3 doctors.

Likewise, in the same period, the number of primary care centers increased from 4,804 to 11,373 units, as well as the percentage of population access to the primary care system that increased from 21.5 percent to 95.5 percent.

In addition, the number of consultations through the National Health System increased from 3.5 million in 1997 to 54 million in 2007.

Infant mortality went down from 23.4 percent in 1997 to 13.4 percent in 2007, as well as the maternal mortality during labor decreased from 67.2 percent to 60.1 percent.

The low weight index after birth affected 10 percent of the children in 1997, a percentage that decreased to 8.7 percent in 2007.

On Tuesday, 288 new medical centers and 14 Integral Diagnosis Centers (CDI, Spanish acronym) were also opened nationwide, part of the governmental health care mission called Barrio Adentro I; and a new Center of High Technology (CAT, Spanish acronym) and 11 new Integral Rehabilitation Centers (SRI, Spanish acronym), as part of Barrio Adentro II.

With the addition of these new health units in Venezuelan, there are a total of 917 medical facilities (406 CDI, 493 SRI, and 18 CAT) boosted by the Bolivarian Revolution.

President Chávez also pointed out that the government, through Barrio Adentro III mission, will continue with the restructuring, modernization, and enlargement of the large hospitals in the country.

Furthermore, President Chávez announced the construction of 16 new specialized general hospitals as part of Barrio Adentro IV Mission.

Bolivarian News Agency (ABN)

February, 20, 2008