After the last magazine cover WEEK, which mentions the new health reform that is being prepared by the minister of this portfolio, Karolina Korcho, generated all kinds of reactions.
Although the government tried to downplay the issue and President Gustavo Petro himself, along with his ministers, supported Corço, the truth is that the issue caused concern in the Congress of the Republic.
For this reason, a political control debate is being prepared, in which the official will explain in detail her intentions with the sector, since, according to several congressmen, every statement of the minister raises more alarm.
House representative and Conservative Party spokesperson Wadit Manzoor assured that Minister Cork’s words about reforming the sector were misplaced as it would be done through a crisis to justify the changes that were being sought to be made.
“His words could create panic in the EPS and this could damage the quality of service for citizens, in addition to the fact that he has asked for a cut in his budget.” This includes all alerts because the people who need service are the ones who can be hurt.” said Manzoor.
He added that “We invite her to come to the Congress of the Republic, to give the relevant explanations, to hold a high-level debate, we all know the problem and want to solve it, but this is not the way.
There is also concern in the Democratic Center and Senator María Fernanda Cabal assured that they irresponsibly want to attack the health system that works and in recent years important achievements have been made, to such an extent that it is recognized as one of the best in Latin America.
“The health coverage that Colombia has is not available to virtually any country, even a developed one. What she is doing is generating panic, generating disinvestment, generating fear and when you are a minister and you have the stick, you can shut down organizations from there because it is not politically convenient for you. The effect could be detrimental to the health of Colombians. We believe that the subpoena will be in the Seventh Committee or in a plenary session of the Senate, given the seriousness of the implications of their positions and assertions.the congresswoman said.
But the concern extended to Cambio Radical, where Senator David Luna spoke about the alleged strategy that Minister Corcio will implement. “What the minister is looking for is to weaken the insurance system, make it fail and start to find no justification after presenting his reform and getting it approved. Minister, we do not swallow and neither do the citizens, do not play with their lives, if something happens to them, the responsibility is yours”.
created a crisis
During the campaign, President Petro said that he did not believe in the current model of the health care system and expected the death of the EPS. In a presidential debate for SEMANA and El Tiempo, the candidate at the time explained that healthcare would be organized with primary care centers for every 20,000 inhabitants.
“Doctors go to the neighborhood without needing an EPS card,” he added. And he said he wants “no middlemen needed to steal your money, which are the EPS entities that are mostly bankrupt today.” Although it was known where the reform would lead, the fear was fueled by funding. In an unprecedented departure, Minister Cork asked Congress to cut the sector’s budget. The work is as follows. The health sector as a whole will have a budget of 50.2 billion pesos in 2023, up from the 41 billion that was approved for 2021.
The Duque government had requested an additional 8.1 billion pesos for insurance, which was intended to increase the value of the UPC (Capitation Payment Unit) that the state transfers to the EPS for each affiliate. Minister Corcho explained that for her this figure is not “logical” because she received a deficit of 5.5 billion pesos from the previous government and this would mean asking for an increase of almost 15 billion, which is half a tax reform. The issue has set off alarms at EPS because, for now, they will get a lower UPC than they think is worth the attention of any Colombian, after inflation that will exceed 10 percent at the end of the year.
In fact, the minister said only 3.8 billion pesos would be needed for insurance, which leaves insurers 4 billion short of what they say is needed. The ball is in the court of the Congress of the Republic, where the General Budget of the nation is processed, for which only one debate remains in the plenary sessions of the House and the Senate.
This offer had a reading: that he was betting on generating a crisis that justified his outrage. This is not a far-fetched idea. She said it herself in a public conversation with the Italian doctor Federico Gelli, who treated the president in Italy when he fell ill with covid. The minister said: “There needs to be a clear, overt crisis that lets the public know that change is needed. And that in the midst of the crisis, an alternative emerges.”
Ricardo Avila, former director of Portfolio, in an article in El Tiempo, raised it this way when showing the impact of defunding: “Was such a statement a warning of the government’s intention to deliberately create a failure to demonstrate that the current structure does not work ? Recent events do not contradict this interpretation.
The minister responded to this thesis: “They said we would cause a crisis, but health is already in crisis.” In contrast, former minister Fernando Ruiz of the Duque government told this media outlet: “Columbia had very good EPS and continues to do so. We have come with a purification process with final agreements and payment of dues. We have eliminated companies that are not working, but we should be aware that there are EPS that are doing a very good job. Activism does not make sense when we are talking about such a great responsibility as the health of Colombians.”