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Former Minister of Health José Félix Oletta died at 79 years old | via: Diario TalCual

Diario TalCual | Venezuela | June 10, 2023

Unofficial translation made by HumVenezuela…

NGOs and other members of the Venezuelan health profession lamented the death of Oletta, who for years denounced the censorship that exists in Venezuela’s epidemiological bulletins, where the government has not provided official figures for more than seven years.

Doctor and former Minister of Health José Félix Oletta passed away this Saturday afternoon, June 10, at the age of 79. The information was confirmed to TalCual by physician Huniades Urbina, vice-president of the National Academy of Medicine.

So far, the details of his death are unknown, but it was unofficially known that he was hospitalized at the San Bernandino clinic due to health complications.

From Médicos Unidos Venezuela, Dr. Jaime Lorenzo lamented his death, since it is “a hard blow for Venezuelan health. Master of masters,” he wrote in a message. Other greats of Venezuelan medicine, such as Dr. María Yanes, former president of the Network of Scientific Societies, also expressed their sorrow at what had happened.

“I am very sorry for this great loss for Venezuelan medicine. Dr. José Félix Oletta was a professor at the Vargas School for many of us who trained as doctors. He was a great defender of health in Venezuela. God rest his soul,” she said in her social networks.

Oletta was a surgeon, internist and epidemiologist. He served as Minister of Health and Social Assistance between 1997 and 1999, during the administration of former President Rafael Caldera. For years he denounced the censorship that exists within the epidemiological bulletins in Venezuela, where the government has already seven years without giving official figures on this matter, and he spoke clearly about the precarious state of Venezuelan hospitals.

His extensive knowledge in public health prevented him from remaining silent about the many irregularities he has detected in the country’s public health system.

He was director of the Vargas School of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine of the Central University of Venezuela (UCV, in Spanish).

During his years of career he became coordinator of the Epidemiology Commission. He also represented the Venezuelan Society of Internal Medicine in the Network of Medical Scientific Societies of Venezuela.

Oletta was born in Caracas and married his colleague Josefina Mercedes Pimentel de Oletta, a retired university professor from the José María Vargas School of Medicine. They had three children, among them José Félix Oletta Pimentel son, also a physician.

On-going note.