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CHILE’S health system is near collapse, President Sebastian Pinera has warned, as Covid-19 cases rocketed above 70,000.
He expressed his concerns about the future of the country’s national health system on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the new Sotero del Rio Modular hospital, which will have beds for 100 patients with coronavirus.
“The healthcare system is close to collapse. It’s very in demand and very stressed out,” he said, warning of the strain due to increased demand.
“I suggest not looking for culprits but for solutions. We are making every effort humanly possible,” he said.
But the opening was met with angry protests from health workers critical of the government’s response to the pandemic.
In November Health Minister Jaime Manalich claimed that Chile’s health system was among the best in the world.
But the reality is that the system has the second fewest hospital beds per capita among the 37 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Millions of Chileans took to the streets in months of protest last year over glaring inequalities.
While the movement has dampened due to the coronavirus lockdown, protests have taken place over food shortages in a number of cities.
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