An English summary of this report is below. The original report, "Pedir y pagar para vivir," published in Spanish by Prodavinci, follows.
In Venezuela's public hospitals, you have to pay. Expenses range from making copies to fill out a medical history to thousands of dollars worth of tests. Venezuelan law states that health services are free, but the reality for Venezuelans is very different. Waiting times for surgeries can last months or years, and they often depend on patients paying for medicines and supplies, some as basic as gloves and white sheets.
A Prodavinci team collected stories from family members and patients, their bills and purchases, and determined that even common pathologies and medical procedures in the public health system can represent a catastrophic expense. The shortage of supplies does not only affect patients: Health workers work in public hospitals with no supplies and under conditions that put them at risk.
As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund more than 170 reporting projects every year on critical global and local issues. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!
Click "Open" to view the full interactive story.