So I had an event due to stress that had me hospitalized for two days and that will change a lot of my life. No details necessary, the stress under which I have been subjected for the last 4 years is the real explanation. But the damage is done and now I have to rebuild what I can from my old life with all the same problems as I had before. And even worse as my S.O. health is not doing better the more so that his support is not shipshape.
But I am not writing to complain. I am beyond that, and nobody really can help me much unless they give me a quarter million dollars so that I can leave the country and live elsewhere the simplest of lives, in a place where maybe my S.O. could last a few more years. At least what I have is manageable with lots of anti-anxiolytics, good diet and moderate exercice.
No, I am writing my story because it is a tale of how dire health care has become EVEN for the rich (the very rich chavistas/enchufados fly out of the country, they have no problems, and they have probably a secret hospital somewhere to fix them up enough so they can travel safely out of the country).
I woke up that day with dizziness but I had to roll because I had an important appointment for the S.O. etc, etc... Back at home for lunch I was feeling worse so I decided not to go to work. At 5 PM a relative came to pick up something and as soon as he saw me called his specialist who happened to be still at his office. Off we went and to make a long story short within the hour I was in the emergency unit of the closest private hospital. I need to stress that, with what I had, going to a public (state) hospital would have killed me within a couple of days. I can say that in all property because the doctor before walking me to emergency made sure first that the hospital had the medication I needed. Otherwise we would have started calling around until finding some private center with it. The implication is that public hospitals did not have it. And they do not reply to their phones anymore anyway.
Because the doctor walked me in I was accepted at emergency, otherwise I would have had to wait for the insurance go ahead that takes a few hours, or pay in advance and estimate of care with credit card. At least while my treatment started my relative could get my "black" credit card that I always carry with me for such emergencies and his. So we could pay for the first night stay.
I have no complaints. Care was well dispensed. Instructions were given to put me in "terapia intensiva" ICU, if it came to that but I was to spend the night in an emergency cubicle because I needed to be monitored all night long with drips and all. Before the doctor left he told us that I should keep no valuable whatsoever. So there was that.
The problem was my neighbor who was complaining all night long, compromising what few nods I could get. It was not really a cry of pain, just a desperate whinny cry. Eventually I asked a nurse checking on me and she told me that the guy, and elderly gentleman had been already 4 days in emergency and was suffering from the extreme discomfort that arises when you are in the narrow emergency room beds. Naively I wondered what could he had that he required to stay 4 days in emergency. The nurse made the gesture of counting money and saying "es que no hay poder" (it is just that they have no power). That means that they had managed to pay enough to get into emergency but they could not make it for the guy to have a room......... Fortunately it seems that there is enough ethics that once in you cannot get kicked out. Or else?
Of course the tentative comforting voice of his daughter telling him to quiet down when he was saying he wanted to go back home no matter what was not the best lullaby.
Next morning I was made to take a few exams and around noon the doctor said I was OK to be set in a room, that my initial reactions to treatment were OK. It took 4 hours. Why? Because it took for ever to arrange the paper work and gather the cash. We made from the job the adequate transfer to the clinic, the insurance had kicked in finally. However... insurances in Venezuela have been killed by hyperinflation and mine was wiped out for the year with a single night at the clinic. Admittedly we knew that it was going to be the case, nobody that has an insurance only in Bs. is covered much more than a few hundred million bolivares which represent, give or take, 1000 USD. You tell me. I do have an insurance from France but it pays when it receives the bills so I am on my own to pay for treatment before I can eventually be reimbursed. The one I have here (yes, I need to pay for two insurances) is merely to get in.
Since the financial aspect was taken care of it (remember, two maxed up high end credit cards, the insurance and a cash transfer from a hastily arranged work loan) how come I was still no taken to a room? The reason was that now one to two floors of the clinic are CLOSED. That is right, the dramatic drop in people able to afford care has made the clinic work on a simple floor plus maternity ward and other floors are opened only if there will be enough rooms taken.
The mind reels...
I was hospitalized at that same clinic for dengue a few years ago and I had to wait for half a day for a room to get free because there was no rom, period. Now they did not want to open rooms unless there is a critical mass of paying customers. Times have changed.
The rest was uneventful. A few more tests, a special drip all night long, etc and I was released ONLY BECAUSE my relatives were able to find the complete treatment required for me at home. Otherwise I would have had to stay at least another night there.
Now I have two weeks of absolute rest, and two weeks of partial activity and then my second control. Then I do not know what will happen nor do I care to know yet. There is no point in trying to predict anything in this shit hole of a country.
So why the genocide part of my title?
Very simple: if someone with the support I had barely made it, what is happening to the other people? The clinic where I usually go used to be overfilled with people in the hall ways when the regime provided nice health insurance. Now there is none, the hallways are near empty, you never wait more than an hour for your turn at a consultation. It has become luxury care to whom can afford it (even if incomplete but that is another story).
All the images that you have seen from the New York Times to many other newspapers are true, public hospitals, run in the spirit of Cuban medicine, have become places where you go to die. It cannot be otherwise, even the rich have trouble. But that is not the worst part. In recent days children from the pediatric cancer hospital and their family took again to the streets claiming their right to life. AIDS associations have said that the country supply of anti retroviral medicine is 0. Through tweeter (that I should not read in my condition) I read of people dying every day because their transplanted organs were rejected, or that there is no material por dialysis. Some made good bye videos. And more.
Yet the regime is in an electoral campaign, spending all of its resources in forcing people to go beyond the "carnet de la patria" (the fatherland ID card). Now, if they want the benefit of that meager but unique social program they better sign up for the PSUV, the party. A crass maneuver to justify the electoral cheating coming on May 20 (another story, I digress, must be Xanax that I was told to take for a few weeks at high doses).
The chavista revolution has started as a communist flash back disguised as XXI century socialism. Now that the narco-generals are in charge it has become, with the active support of the ex guerrilla, student agitators, obscenely corrupt officials that staff the civilian ranks of chavismo a mere fascist regime.
In fact, for the first time in this blog I am going to use Nazi because what the regime is doing is Eugenics of the XXI century, letting die deliberately all those that are a burden for the state.