Caracas, Venezuela, October 31, 2005—Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez announced that his government has decided to increase doctors' salaries by 50%. This will affect about 30,000 doctors and other workers in the public medical sector. Also, there will be an additional bonus for doctors who currently work part-time at public hospitals and who decide to become full-time employees. The measure will be effective immediately. Chavez made the announcement during his weekly TV program Aló Presidente, where he also announced new resources for the university sector.
The Venezuelan government is currently experiencing a boom in revenues, due to both improved tax collection efforts and increasing oil revenues, due to the high price of oil. As a result, the government is focusing much of these increased resources on raising public sector salaries, many of which had been practically frozen for several years. The increase is, "just and necessary because professional public health salaries have fallen behind," said Chavez.