As Venezuelans struggle with widespread shortages in everything from basic food stuffs to toilet paper, the socialist nation’s defense minister announced on Wednesday that the military will take control of the distribution of "all medical and surgical supplies managed in all hospitals."
Venezuelan Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino López said during an address broadcast on state-owned Venezolana de Televisión that the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela will take control of the medical supply sector "to guarantee that these medicines and supplies get to the patient efficiently and are neatly distributed and assigned."
One in three people admitted to public hospitals last year died, the government reports. The number of operational hospital beds has fallen by 40 percent since just 2014. And as the economy fails, the country is running short on 85 percent of medicine, according to the national drugstore trade group.
Everything from common painkillers to cancer and HIV drugs have become almost impossible to find across the country and some doctors have resorted to using veterinary medications in lieu of human ones — according to the Pharmaceutical Federation. READ MORE