Public hospitals cannot be closed: Health Superintendent

The official warned that the interest of the national government is to strengthen the public hospital network. Photo: Superhealth, Twitter.

Public hospitals in Colombia cannot be liquidated. This was announced by the Superintendent of Health Ulahí Beltrán López, during the National Forum that analyzed the central elements of the Health reform that the national Government will present in 2023. The decision, according to an official, responds to a directive from President Gustavo Petro.

“We cannot put an end to what is the social patrimony of Colombians and, on the contrary, we have to strengthen them with high-tech equipment and services that allow citizens to receive guaranteed, quality care,” said the superintendent.

Regarding the role that the public hospital network will play in the new system, Beltrán pointed out that this “will be of total importance in the Health Reform. It will be the main support for comprehensive health networks with mixed participation”.

The official also indicated that one of the objectives of the national government is precisely to strengthen the public hospital network, in order to provide medical care in the peripheries of the country, where various failures in access to services are reported.

“Getting closer to ‘Deep Colombia’ is part of what the new model of primary health care with a territorial approach proposes, as explained by the Minister of Health, Carolina Corcho”, emphasized the Superintendent.

Regarding the ten hospitals that are currently being subject to forced intervention to be administered by the Superintendency, the official warned that These interventions are being monitored to evaluate recovery and performance indicators.

“A review of the remuneration process for the intervening agents is being carried out, since the high payments they receive may be contributing to the financial fragility of hospitals that are in crisis,” noted the superintendent Beltrán, who also questioned whether there are hospital entities that They have been intervened for five and six years without showing conclusive progress in management.

He also announced that he is moving forward a review of how intervening agents are being remuneratedsince he warned that the high payments they receive may be contributing to the financial fragility of hospitals that are in crisis.

“We are talking about excessively high salaries for entities that are already in financial crisis, which is why we are making a whole series of considerations to soon announce a series of measures that include variations in the remuneration of these people,” Beltrán said.

During the National Forum, President Petro’s proposal that the EPS become “insurance policies” was also discussed, which, it has been warned, might not be able to withstand a strong contradiction: people who have more money will receive much more attention. better than low-income people, which contradicts the promises of the Colombian head of state.

Given this, President Petro has indicated that these policies would be voluntary acquisition and would be focused on the middle and upper class, who, according to him, are the most concerned about the elimination of EPS. While the Government would offer a general basic insurance that would cover the entire population and that those who want to complement that system could access additional costs for faster authorizations.

A proposal that Johnattan García Ruiz, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, has compared with the model used in Brazil, in which “40% of users acquire these additional policies because the base system stops working as it should due to pressure from private companies that can offer better rates”.

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