Venezuelan Hospitals to Temporarily Freeze Fees

Posted August 16th, 2011 at 8:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Venezuela's government says the country's private hospitals have agreed to freeze their fees for up to three weeks as they seek ways to contain health care costs and increase access for the poor.

Health Minister Eugenia Sader made the announcement Tuesday after meeting with hospital representatives. She said that period will allow officials to look at ways to keep costs in check. The hospital representatives were cited as saying they will guarantee care for patients in need of emergency treatment even if they lack full insurance coverage.

The move comes as Venezuela tries to curb inflation that is now running at an annual rate of about 25 percent. Venezuela has been in the midst of a recession as it tries to curb the double-digit inflation.