“We are going to have to rethink the entire health system
in Argentina to make more efficient use of resources. “The words that
Cristina Kirchner delivered in her speech days ago in La Plata resounded in the ears of all the actors in the health sector: in
unions and businessmen,
but also in the
Ministry of Health,
what’s in the folder
-very germinal- to alleviate the financial crisis in the area.
Public and private coincide in the diagnosis made by Cristina when speaking of the “first challenge” that Argentina has for 2021, although The question remained floating in the air is what course of action does the vice president have in mind and how quickly you intend to implement it. “What does it mean to reformulate? If it is to grant more resources we are all in agreement, because the sector is drowning. If it is destroying what works well, no “, said, worried, the president of a prepaid company. A trade unionist who took note of the ex-president’s statements said: “It is true that the system must be reformulated. I do not know what Cristina’s proposal is about, versions there are many “.
Cristina said during the event organized by Axel Kicillof: “We are going to have to rethink our entire health system. Those who know that perhaps other pandemics may come. Our country should be the one in Latin America that has the most investments in health, but We have it divided into three systems, the public, the private and the social works. Well we’ll have to start rethinking an integrated national health system in which we can articulate all this to be a more efficient use of what is in Argentina. “It was one of the most intense passages in what was his third speech since Alberto Fernández took office.
I believe that the two biggest challenges that we are going to have in this year that is beginning, in addition to a formidable vaccination plan, is to rethink the entire health system in the Argentine Republic.
&- Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina)
December 19, 2020
In the Ministry of Health, led by Ginés González García, the vice president’s words did not add news. “We have been working on a structural reform of the system for a long time. What Cristina said we are already doing”, said an important collaborator of that portfolio to THE NATION. What the government has done so far was summon successive meetings to all the actors of the system (unions, prepaid workers and providers) to plot a state of affairs. But, according to those summoned to that table, there were no concrete advances yet. The scourge of the pandemic, and the moderate style of the Fernández administration has not yet produced projects with fundamental changes. The issue is extreme sensitivity: any cut in benefits or significant increase in workers’ contributions to social works would have a significant social impact.
“Meetings were held and we know of the will of the President and the minister to find the solution. But in particular, no progress has been made on anything yet, because there was no bill, “he told THE NATION one of the heads of the CGT and head of the Health Guild, Hector Daer. The labor union demands that a “benefit basket” be set with a number of benefits that replace the Mandatory Medical Program (PMO), which today generates a red of approximately $ 1,500 million a month to the most important union fund. It costs the social works $ 2,600 per month per person to have the PMO covered, when the average income of the health system is more or less $ 1,820.
As he was able to reconstruct THE NATION From official sources, the Government has three axes on file. The first, that of the “systems integration”. “We have to create a new financing scheme because there is inefficient spending on health,” an official spokesperson admitted to this medium. A union member who sat at the discussion table with the Ministry of Health specified: “There should be a cross costing. Where there is a resonator in the private system that is also used by the public system, and vice versa, to reduce costs “.
The second axis is linked to reduce the universe of social works, That amounts to about 290, although it is estimated that 5% provide services to more than 50% of the affiliates. The government’s conviction is that the larger social works, due to their scale, should absorb the smaller ones, which generate inefficient administrative expenses. Although the leadership of the CGT recognizes the problem, it will be difficult to advance on that idea without encountering rejection from the union concert.
Finally, the Government believes that tax modifications to ease the burden on the industry. The Ministry of Health awaits the aforementioned tax reform to strain the proposal. In addition, the actors of the health system talked about the need for the Treasury to bear some costs that today are paid for by social and prepaid works. For example, schooling and transportation for people with disabilities.
“The system has been in emergency since 2002. It is clear that we must look for a new model,” said an official familiar with the talks, noting that this year the government paid a large part of the debt with social works. In addition, as reported by LA NACION, the Superintendency of Health, for different concepts and subsidies, sent them about 45,000 million pesos.
Cristina Kirchner took advantage of her statement about the health system to go to the crossroads of the City. “An opposition legislator said that out of every ten porteños only three occupy the public hospitals in the Federal Capital. So the president of the Frente de Todos (Máximo Kirchner) bloc he said the obvious: that those hospitals would have to be elsewhere “, launched the vice president on the territory commanded by Horacio Rodríguez Larreta. “It does not mean not considering the interests of the private sector. Simply that the State, which has to guarantee health, has to redesign a new health system, “he concluded.
“To have a universal health system you have to finance it, health is not free,” said a trade union leader who was aware of the discussion. Another businessman in the sector said: “I don’t know what Cristina has in mind, but it would be good if she congratulated the health sector for how it worked in a pandemic.” And I add: “We are tightening the system excessively. If we continue like this, it will break.”
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