Lack of foreign currency halts purchases of medical equipment
The Venezuelan Association of Distributors of Medical, Dental and Laboratory Equipment stresses that imports have been frozen for three weeks
In Venezuela, imports of medical equipment have been frozen for the last three weeks, due to the fact that businessmen from the sector cannot purchase US dollars at the right time.
"Foreign suppliers discontinued credits to Venezuela. Goods are not entering the country," stated Antonio Orlando, the President of the Venezuelan Association of Distributors of Medical, Dental and Laboratory Equipment (Avedem).
Orlando highlighted that the authorization of US dollars for the companies affiliated to Avedem virtually stopped early this year, and that their debt with suppliers hovers around USD 150 million. "There are no shipments, there are no imports," he said.
He also stressed that there are 127 companies in Avedem, out of which approximately 100 purchase US dollars through the Foreign Exchange Administration Commission (Cadivi), and that all of them "have been denied credit lines."
Orlando explained that the Venezuelan government is aware of the situation of these companies and he underlined that there is a "quite remarkable" shortage of products in the local market. "The patients are the ones hit by this situation," he added.
There is a shortage of products in the market, mainly prosthesis, pacemakers, plates and colostomy bags.
Translated by Karen Daza
Luis Jiménez Alfaro seems to have hidden under the rocks. The last time he was seen was on April 2006 walking calmly around Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetía, located nearby Caracas. At that time, more than five tons of cocaine arrived in Mexico in an airplane which took off from Venezuela, and his name featured as a missing piece of the puzzle of one of the most massive drug shipments that has been witnessed in the Western Hemisphere.