Vol.19 No.0522
Wednesday Edition, May 22, 2019 Third news page
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On April 2, the Constitutional Court Chamber has ordered Social Security to design, in a maximum of six months, an integrated management system to reduce the disproportionate and unreasonable deadlines that the patient should expect to receive care in hospitals.  /  A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo



United Nations commends Costa Rica's Social Security


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The United Nations announced the Public Service Award 2019 in the category of Promotion of Digital Transformation in Public Sector Institutions to Social Security.

The prize will be delivered sometime between the 24th and 26th of June in the city of Bake, in the Republic of Azerbaijan, during an event which 450 people will attend, including UN officials, ministers, and authorities from different countries.

Dr. Román Macaya Hayes, executive president of Social Security, says that this award is a recognition the nation’s effort to improve health in the 21st century.

As a response of the announcement, President Carlos Alvarado said, "The Edus is a sample of the path we must follow as a country, taking advantage of the opportunity that technology offers us to put it at the service of citizens."

With this digital platform Social Security improved in the network of services and has more and better information about patients.

According to Social Security data, between Jan. 2018, and May 2019, the Edus system recorded more than 38 million patient appointments and more than 13,000 requests for laboratory exams.

The prize for public services of the United Nations has been awarded since 2003. Its goal is to recognize the work of public institutions.

However, on April 2, as A.M. Costa Rica reported,  the Constitutional Court Chamber has ordered Social Security to design, in a maximum of six months, an integrated management system to reduce the "disproportionate and unreasonable deadlines that the patient should expect to receive care in hospitals," said the ruling. The problem is one that represents a systematic and repeated violation of the right to health.

Judges ordered the system in response to an appeal by a senior citizen filed on September 13, 2018.

The citizen said that she required surgery at the San Rafael Hospital*  in the province of Alajuela, but that she was not informed of a specific date for the operation and she was placed on the waiting list. For this reason, the woman appealed to the Constitutional Court alleging that her right to health was violated by the medical center.

The Constitutional Court concluded that the problem in terms of excessive waiting lists is a constant in Social Security. "These actions in the provision of public service violate the right to health, as a fundamental right autonomous and violate the constitutional principles of public service," said the resolution statement.

In the next six months, Social Security must define reasonable waiting times for treatments, as well as objective criteria to specify the location of a patient on waiting lists. It was also required to set a schedule of actions to meet the goals.

Within the plan, Social Security should propose solutions to the shortcomings and problems recognized by the institution itself: lack of adequate infrastructure, lack of specialized doctors, equipment needs, and the absenteeism of patients to appointments in various medical centers, among others.

In order to follow up on compliance with this ruling, the Constitutional Chamber set a public and oral hearing for 9 a.m. on November 14, 2019 in the Supreme Court of Justice.

On that day, the authorities of Social Security must present the advances and actions developed.

In addition, the ruling, it was urged that Catalina Crespo- Sancho, in her capacity as Ombudsman, assist in the follow-up of the execution of this resolution.

The ruling includes:

-Order Social Security must attend waiting lists.

- Define reasonable waiting periods by pathology or related diagnostic groups according to the symptomatology, the level of urgency and the patient's conditions.

- Determine the objective criteria to set a patient on the waiting lists.

- Set a progress schedule.

- Take into account such special groups as older adults, with people with disabilities, and minors.

- Respect the constitutional principles in public service of efficiency and effectiveness.
 
According to the statistics of the Constitutional Court, in 2018, were registered 7,037 claims against Social Security for violating the right to health.



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What other services could improve Social Security? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to: news@amcostarica.com




















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