One hundred and twenty days, that’s the time Savia Salud has to determine its future after the extension granted by Supersalud. And although the manager of the enterprise, Lina Bustamante, admits that they received the solution like a shot of oxygen, she accepts without embellishment that saving EPS in four months is a complex task. The manager spoke to EL COLOMBIANO about the plan they will implement and sent a message of calm to consumers and suppliers.
Were they happy with Super’s decision?
“Our expectations have always been expansion, and it may be an opportunity to deepen compliance with health metrics. But, on the other hand, it may be short on the financial issue, because in four months the financial trends do not change”.
Why did Super not want to approve the capitalization proposal that Savia presented?
“Officially, he has refused us neither the reorganization plan nor the capitalization. He set us some requirements, which we meet. What we don’t see as easy are the times to reach capitalization and that we have continuity in the plan that we had because we depend on people wanting to bet on Savia not committing their money in those months.”
But the capitalization offer they provided in July looked solid, so what does Super want from you?
“La Super obviously wants us to be mindful of the positive legacy. What we have taken into account as EPS is that to achieve this equity, at least 50% must be through capitalization. We would believe that Super would expect capitalization from us. Let’s remember that we did a $120 billion cap, but we needed a second cap between $130 billion and $150 billion. That we can achieve this second in four months without having approved the first, we do not see it as viable”.
Super ordered a strike plan demanding they step up service, clear accounts, review contracts, how are they going to materialize all these demands?
“We will make some payments to the grid with some reserves that we had. We will make some payment arrangements and speed up some flow. Today, EPS has no major portfolio issues. Over the past four years, we have reduced our liabilities by 47%. We will have the accompaniment of the Ministry and Super; there we will show what has been paid and creditors will also show what is owed to them. I would also like to double check with the suppliers about the rates. This is an issue where we need to manage risk and cost together to ensure health services.”
Besides the financial ones, Super made findings that break down several aspects of health management, such as low coverage in promotion and prevention programs and a 44% increase in tutela actions; Why do these errors persist?
“The eight years of special surveillance is mainly due to the legacy defect that we dropped from negative $900 billion to $560 billion today. However, there are some indicators, for example in cervical and breast cancer screening and cytology, where we need to improve and where we hope to have the commitment of the department’s community network.
Since liquidation is still pending, is there a plan B that can reduce the risk of system collapse?
“We expect the support of the Ministry of Health and the General Directorate to protect all the capacity we have strengthened to protect the most vulnerable consumers. Today, 80% of the service route that Savia has is with the public network. We have an office in each of the 125 municipalities; We have worked with community organizations to manage risk and achieve patient adherence to treatment, for example for HIV. More than 5,000 patients have access to treatment against the virus. We arrive at the hostels; and we bring chemotherapy to the municipalities”.
While the government and Comfama are trying to save EPS, the other partner, the City Hall of Medellin, led by Mayor Daniel Quintero, is generating noise and misinformation about the origin and nature of Savia, what do you think?
“Savia is characterized by strong corporate governance, with equal participation of Comfama, the City Hall and the Governor’s Office in the Board of Directors. So, although the city hall said it did not want to capitalize Savia, the board of directors firmly supported the decisions made. I can’t tell what context the mayor has for creating Savia. But as a manager, I can say that Savia’s board of directors, its corporate body, has some rules that it follows.”
How many of the 1.66 million users that Savia has live in Medellin and how much will the city be affected if they liquidate EPS?
“Medellín has 520 thousand users. In addition, it has the highest health care costs because it concentrates most of the high complexity. Historically, Medellin has been one of the most expensive cities for health care.”
Along those lines, shouldn’t City Hall have a more important role in this plan to save EPS from the most vulnerable?
“We would like, as the governor of Antioquia is pronounced, so is the town hall pronounced. In terms of action deepening work with the Ministry of Health to attack specific public health problems.
Could the fact that Minister Carolina Corcho and Deputy Minister of Social Protection Luis Alberto Martínez are from Antioquia have a positive influence in moving Savia forward?
“One understands that the position of the civil servant should be prudence, justice. However, we believe in Deputy Minister Martinez; first, because he knows very well the strengths and weaknesses of the department’s public hospitals and knows the Savia process in detail. We believe in his criteria, his honesty and this gives us a guarantee that the work table (which started yesterday) will be processed with full transparency”.
How can we ensure that there is no care chaos in these four months?
“There is one very telling fact: despite the uncertainty of recent weeks, the web has not abandoned us. I was afraid that their services might be closed to us, but that was not the case and we were able to continue to schedule chemo treatments and all kinds of procedures. Out of the 331 suppliers we have, only two have said no to us. This speaks volumes for the confidence in Savia. For our part, we trust the work we will do with the Ministry and the General Directorate during these months”.