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Venezuelans protest amid medicine shortages

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are demanding better work conditions as they contend with a lack of basic supplies such as gloves and gauze.

According to reports from the Federation of Pharmacists of Venezuela, 90% of essential drugs and medical supplies are at shortage levels in the country and 75% of high-cost drugs and treatments are lacking.

With the country’s recently inflation rate put at 815,194%, protesters say the cost of buying medicine is out of reach for the average citizen.

President Nicolas Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, harnessed an oil boom to build free clinics in the slums and health issues such as maternal mortality improved.

But as the price of oil has plummeted, the nation’s medical crisis has worsened along with food shortages and unreliable water and power supply. International sanctions on the Maduro government have also hit the government’s finances.

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