CARACAS, VENEZUELA – Several layers of dirt cover the floor. Pigeons fly about the rooms and across dim hallways where at least half of the lights are out. Sadly, the spooky scene is not from some movie but from one of Venezuela’s main hospitals, the Clinical University Hospital of Caracas (HUC).
Crisis here runs so deep that in the first two weeks of March most surgeries had to be cancelled for lack of running water. Patients wait for months to get a procedure because the hospital and the entire country is increasingly out of basic medication and surgical supplies.
Triple digit inflation and a decaying socialist economic model have left medications ranging from simple anti-inflammatory drugs to chemotherapy medication out of reach for most Venezuelans. Patients are asked to bring their own.