Sunday, 30 October 2011

The mock doctors in Venezuela under Chávez

The president of the Academy of Medicine in Venezuela, Aoun Soulie, felt compelled to tell us for the nth time about a very worrying development: the education given to the so-called physicians of "Integral Medicine for Communities" is a farce.

This month 8300 people will get their title as "médicos integrales comunitarios" after having spent 6 years following an outdated study model based on Cuba's experience, which is based more on a myth than anything else. They spent all those years to become health experts and yet they have no training whatsoever in laboratory work, in tropical medicine (remember Cuba's not Venezuela), in radiology, biochemistry, parasitology, pharmacology, histology or anatomy (hard to believe but I got the same report from many good sources). They follow their courses by videoconference and have no training in the emergency rooms of public hospitals as was a must before Chávez came to power. Unlike physicians pre-Chávez, they have never been to operating theatres. Until now the law stated a surgeon had to first do one year of rural work and one in city hospitals. That's gone now: from the video-conferencing to the OR. When I arrived in Europe and had to visit a couple of physicians I immediately felt Venezuelan physicians were at least as good if not better than many German or British doctors. That will never be the case with these "Bolivarian" physicians produced by the Cuban-Venezuelan regime.

Only 225 of their 7215 teachers have actually a degree in medicine. That is weird, to say the least. Soulie also repeated what I have heard from two of the few real physicians who are working at the Bolivarian universities: teachers are told they cannot allow students to fail, all have to pass.

The health of the poor is more at risk than ever with these thousands and thousands of workers without proper training and no solid education dealing with emergencies of all kinds. Venezuela's so-called "revolution" is proving once more than it is nothing more than a pretense, a fairy tell for the gullible at home and abroad. Venezuela as a whole is also getting a new time bomb: how are we going to tell these mock doctors they were cheated by the Chávez-Cuban government for six full years and they would need to take some form of retraining to become real doctors once Chávez is gone?

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