August 22, 2006

A hospital and a count

Katy says: I'm busy with work these days, so I will only be posting lightly. There are, however, two news items I wanted to mention to get the comments going.

Item #1: Last Sunday, Chávez inaugurated a new Children's Cardiological Hospital in Caracas. It appears as though the facility is well made, well-designed and contains state-of-the-art technology. If that is the case, then congratulations. After all, the much-maligned IVth Republic managed to inaugurate more than a few hospitals in their heyday, it was about time chavismo started doing the same.

However, it appears as though access to the hospital is going to be restricted. I am not clear on the details, but Veneconomy alleges only patients from the Barrio Adentro system will qualify, but I checked the transcript of the ALó Presidente show and it was not clear what they meant. The Director of the Hospital says today that they will only accept children referred to them from eight public hospitals. She says, quite clearly, that children coming from private institutions will not be accepted. She also says the hospital will accept children from other Latin American countries.

Again, the details are fuzzy at this point, and the Health Ministry's website does not clarify much, but something is not right if the hospital accepts children from other countries and does not accept Venezuelans who just happen to be treated at private institutions.

Finally, the hospital does not appear to be functioning fully, in spite of having been inaugurated last Sunday.

Item #2: Benjamín Rausseo is on the record today saying his candidacy "has not deflated." Bejnamín, ol' buddy: when you're being asked about your candidacy having deflated and you have to come out and deny it, it probably means it has deflated. Seems like the writing is on the wall for this little adventure.