Less than twenty-four hours after receiving the head of the Argentine Union of Private Health (UAS), Claudio Belocopitt, at Casa Rosada, President Alberto Fernández questioned the sector that brings together private medicine companies, providers and social works. The private companies, for their part, ask for solutions and warn that the system is going to collapse.
“I’m trying to see in what way prepaid medicine has some kind of control from the state, because they capture public savings and nobody controls anything, and all they ask for are increases. All you see is a pure brokerage system. It takes your quota, accumulates the money system, makes it perform financially, “said the head of state on Wednesday in statements with Radio With You.
On Tuesday, Fernández had reassured Belocopitt about the government’s retreat, which on December 30 had authorized a 7 percent increase for February and suspended it 24 hours later in the Official Gazette.
The owner of Swiss Medical had made public the fear of the UAS for a possible advance of the State on the private medicine sector with which more than half of the population is treated (not counting the private providers that contract national or provincial social works ). The suspicions of the UAS were fueled by the declarations of Vice President Cristina Kirchner on December 18 at the event of the Frente de Todos in the Unique Stadium of La Plata.
“We have to go to an integrated national health system between public, private and social works that optimizes resources. The pandemic gave us the opportunity to reformulate the health system in record time, but it is necessary to make a different effort, “the former president had said at the event in which she also questioned the Cabinet ministers.
Close to the vice president they do not deny their desire to reformulate the system, but they discard nationalizations. They speak of expanding the quotas so that the users of the public health system and of the State’s social works can be treated in the private system.
In the nearly two-hour meeting at La Rosada, Fernández told Belocopitt that the system would not be nationalized. “The President conveyed to me tranquility in the sense that under no circumstances is working on a reformulation of the system that led to a nationalization, far from it,” the businessman told accredited journalists.
Hours later, the head of state redoubled his criticism against health companies. “When you look at prepaid medicine, you see that there is an intermediary in the health system that collects fees, accumulates resources, manages them financially, invests them financially, and from there they pay the providers, who are always dissatisfied with what they they receive, “he said. The president also held the Health Minister responsible for the resolution that enabled the increase.
Among the managers of the companies there was disbelief. They doubt that the President can keep his word. They emphasize that there is a permanent surrender of costs and expenses. They point out that the situation is more than critical and they even set a deadline: February 1.
According to some of the actors, the private health system will not be able to cope with the wages of the workers Despite the fact that the parity with the Health union that leads, the General Secretary of the CGT Héctor Daer, is still pending. They emphasize that more and more companies were unable to pay employer contributions and that the mismatch since 2019 has already accumulated 54 percent. They demand, in the absence of an increase in fees, creative solutions: such as the VAT refund. They also demand the support of the ATP and suggest that Kirchnerism wants to control the $ 800 billion box of the system. They point out that the multiplication of patients who postponed care due to the pandemic for other pathologies puts pressure on the system.
The circulation of a text of the Sanitary Sovereignty group, which is made up of the Buenos Aires Deputy Minister of Health Nicolás Kreplak, intensified the fear of the private sector. “(It is recommended) to start a process that leads to the creation of the Argentine National Integrated Health System (SNISA), a mixed system with centrality in the public subsector, of a federal nature (…) with flexible and transparent regulation mechanisms for the private subsector and with a Ministry of Health at the national level that exercises leadership, “says the text published by Data Clave. The founding document of the Health Commission of the Instituto Patria, from 2016, was expressed in the same vein.
Those close to the former president downplayed both documents and maintained that there is still no defined project to make the system more efficient. “Neither prepaid or social work will cease to exist,” they say.