November 13, 2020 – 12:53 pm
Newsroom of El País
The clinic specialized in treating people with covid-19 which was opened on July 6 and which operates in the facilities of the old Saludcoop headquarters in the Champagnat neighborhood, would be about to close due to lack of resources for its maintenance.
This was alerted by councilor Fernando Tamayo after a debate that was held with the manager of the Eastern Health Network, Óscar Ipia López.
In said debate, the manager Ipía stated that the clinic, which the Mayor named ‘Unidos por la Vida’, would close on November 24 due to the expiration of the loan with the settlement agent of the EPS in liquidation and due to lack of resources from the ESE Orient to defray the operating costs of this health center.
“This clinic has incurred operating expenses of $ 7,887 million, while the invoicing to date amounts to just $ 2,207 and they have not received the first peso for the care of covid-19 patients because the accounts were barely passed in August and they have no contracts but letters of commitment from the EPS ”, revealed councilor Fernando Tamayo, one of the participants in the debate.
The manager explained that the clinic is not profitable because the occupancy of ICUs throughout the city does not exceed 50% and as these facilities cannot treat patients with other pathologies, there is no possibility of obtaining resources through any other means than those of the covid.
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“The monthly operation of the clinic is worth $ 1,700 million, the manager says that $ 1,200 million can be billed, but that by glosses only $ 900 million would be recovered, that is, a deficit of $ 800 million, almost half of what it costs them to operate. It is urgent to look for resources because the clinic is going to break the ESE Oriente, we must give it urgent oxygen, ”the councilor noted.
This alert is given in the framework of the concerns that the Health Secretariats of Cali and the Valley have expressed about a progressive increase in cases of covid-19 in the city, related to acts of indiscipline such as parties, and neglect in preventive measures when coronavirus.
“All the money that was invested in infrastructure in the clinic will not be recovered by the ESE Oriente (there are $ 2,893 million that came from the ESE with its own resources) and the ICU teams will have to relocate to the department’s health network if the clinic closes at the end of November. It is very serious because when we are at a new peak we are left without the ICU beds that are needed to attend the increase in cases. For the ESE to keep the teams is complicated because they attend to low complexity procedures. Leaving the clinic now is inconvenient due to the current behavior of the pandemic, but if it continues to function, without a doubt, the ESE Oriente will break and that will mean leaving the population living in the Aguablanca District without basic health services ” , emphasized Councilor Tamayo.
Occupancy of beds in Intensive Care Units due to covid-19 is 54% in Cali, according to a report on Thursday, November 12.
To this is added that the ESE Oriente has stopped receiving $ 12,000 million on behalf of various issues such as employer contributions ($ 4,500 million), for the uninsured poor population ($ 4,500 million) and for the Collective Intervention Plan ($ 3,000 million).
The councilor said that if the Mayor of Cali wanted to acquire the facilities where the clinic currently operates, it must invest $ 24,000 million ($ 17,000 million for structural reinforcement and $ 7,000 million for the purchase of the place). Making it new would cost $ 28,000 million, according to ESE Oriente estimates.
The Secretary of Health of Cali, Miyerlandi Torres, published on Twitter that the occupancy of ICUs exclusively for covid-19 patients is at 54.5% with a cutoff as of Thursday, November 12, when 694 new cases were notified in the city.
The Unidos por la Vida clinic is equipped with 26 intensive care units, 28 beds for intermediate care and 26 stretchers for expansion of the emergency and observation areas.
This week, Secretary Torres said in an interview with El País that “we can say that there is a high risk that we will have regrowth, which is also latent due to crowds, the lack of compliance with biosafety protocols and the high mobility of citizens. However, we want this second peak not to be in December and that we can postpone it, as we did at the end of October and now in November. “