Referees of the private health sector expressed their concerns in recent days after the national government eliminated subsidies that were in force during 2020 and suspended an authorization that allowed them to increase the fees paid by affiliates by 7%.
Those decisions, in a 2020 that ended with inflation above 35% and amid projections close to 50% for 2021, left companies with serious problems in guaranteeing benefits and paying the salaries of their employees.
Claudio Belocopitt, president of Swiss Medical Group and one of the main references of private medicine in Argentina, expressed his concerns about the resolutions adopted by the Executive Power on the afternoon of December 31 and He referred to the rumors that indicate that these movements seek to financially stifle companies in the sector to force a kind of nationalization.
“There are an infinity of fantasies that have no logic. One of those fantasies is creating a unique health system to have full power. Because if you create a single health system, you are not only going to administer it, but you are also going to decide which drug enters and which does not, and other questions.”Acknowledged the specialist in dialogue with radio Miter.
And evaluated: “I think it is good that there is a strong public system because access to health has to be for everyone, what you cannot do is deteriorate the private system to limits that one is not in a position to respond and then say “We come to solve the problem” when in reality the problem was generated by you”.
According to the versions that are discussed among private sector entrepreneurs, made up of those who finance it and those who provide services, the Government intends to advance with a kind of Unified Health System to integrate the public with the private.
“According to rumors, all Argentines would be within the same health system. And that is something that would not be necessary to implement if public attention worked well. This would also imply progress on social works … They are all versions, but the truth is that freezing rates below costs is absolutely dangerous”Belocopitt specified.
Among direct affiliates and members of social works, private health currently serves 30 million people – about 70% of the citizenry – and moves around $ 800 billion a year.
Infobae yesterday revealed how the twists and turns that concern companies today were developed. The story began in the first days of December. The Government had enabled an adjustment in the quotas that was finally stand by. That setback enabled a negotiation of several weeks that had as protagonist not only González García, but also the superintendent of Health Services, Eugenio Daniel Zanarini -that after the soap opera ended up in hospital-.
The dialogue had been complex, mainly because it is a sector of the economy whose income – regulated by the State – was far behind inflation in 2020, the year that Health was the protagonist of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the differences, officials know that 70% of the country’s population is cared for in the private health system and that the decision to discontinue Assistance to Work and Production (ATP) and other subsidies linked to the pandemic caused a damage to the deficit finances of companies.
After those heated discussions, the leaders of the main companies had a promise that did not convince them, but that they believed would be fulfilled according to what the area officials had told them: that as of February they could increase their quotas by 7 % and then they would continue negotiating to find a point of understanding. President Alberto Fernández himself and the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, were aware of what would happen and had enabled the upload. However, after the first last resolution of the year of the Ministry of Health, something was broken in the dome of political power that prompted the head of state to suspend its effects.
Those who know the behind the scenes of the soap opera, They attribute the reversal to Vice President Cristina Kirchner, who put up uncompromising resistance in a telephone conversation with the President, which strictly speaking would have had little conversation. “It was almost a monologue that ended abruptly”, they recognize in their environment. Its position could have some kind of economic explanation in a difficult 2021 in terms of inflation for the Government: analysts revealed by Banco Nación predicted a price increase of more than 50 percent. But actually, the explanations are much closer to politics than economics.
The former president is targeting health companies and does not hide it. Recently, in an event organized by Axel Kicillof in La Plata in which Alberto Fernández also participated, CFK assured that one of the challenges of 2021 will be to “rethink” the entire system. “Our country must be the one in all of Latin America that has the most human, technological and investment resources in health. What happens is that we have it divided into three systems: public, private and social works. We are going to have to rethink an integrated health system“, he pointed. And I add: “We have to rethink not only the health system, but also a country design that forgets such an unfair and economically inefficient concentration”.
What does that mean in practical terms? Who surely has the answer is the Vice Minister of Health of the province of Buenos Aires, Nicolas Kreplak, who is working on a reform project whose draft has already toured the main offices of the Instituto Patria. Health entrepreneurs are convinced that the initiative takes up the spirit of a decree of necessity and urgency that the Executive Power had promoted at the beginning of the pandemic and was later rejected which declared all health resources in the country of public interest.