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San José, Costa Rica || Friday Edition, May 26, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 104
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Bomberos bike
Bomberos de Costa Rica photo  
New ride for Costa Rica's firefighters

Costa Rican firefighters are receiving new wheels. The 2017 BMW motorcycles will be equipped with a 50 liter water tank as well as hose and portable power supply. Officials from the Bomberos de Costa Rica said that these new vehicles will enter service in August after staff receive training from Dutch experts.



Caja begins internship on oral cancer

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Each week, there are three new cases of oral cancer in the country and the dentist is the first person to notice it, according to the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social.

Hospital San Juan de Dios and the dentistry school at Universidad de Costa Rica are teaming up to combat this phenomenon by creating a new internship focused on identifying and treating lesions that could potentially be cancerous.

Dr. Rodolfo Gamboa, the project manager and specialist at the hospital, said that the great benefit of getting an early diagnosis is the cure rate, which is 90 percent. This is important considering that, for three diagnoses of oral cancer a week there is also two deaths as a result.

Moreover, 55 percent of all registered cases to the Caja for oral cancer are persons between the ages of 20 and 64.

The Proyecto de fortalecimiento de la atención integral del cancer” is expected to invest around $1.5 million in dental equipment for this internship, the Caja said. A total of 44 portable dental units, 18 dental x-ray wall kits and 31 dental x-rays were purchased.

The equipment is expected to improve the images taken on x-rays using a digital rather than the more antiquated acetate plates, the Caja said. This may aid in providing a more accurate diagnosis for patients. The instruments are additionally more patient-friendly in terms of comfort and accessible to disabled persons as well.


Frente Amplio files inheritance tax bill

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Thursday, legislator Edgardo Araya, member of the prominent left-wing political party Frente Amplio, filed a bill that seeks to tax legacies, donations and inheritances exceeding at least 750 monthly salaries of a government office clerk. As of today that amount roughly equals to about $543,000.

Araya said this would be a partial solution to a serious imbalance in public finances. He also said the country needs new sources of income, given the need to redistribute what he considers an unequal tax burden. His goals is that those in the upper echelons of wealth and riches supply the most money.

The legislator considers the bill as a tool to move towards fairer tax systems that do not punish the low-income citizens.

The bill excludes donations intended for welfare institutions. It also keeps tax exemptions and deductions for donations aimed to the Costa Rican state, any autonomous or semi-autonomous institutions working for or with the government, municipal corporations, public universities, education boards, and the Cruz Roja Costarricense among others.

“We will continue to propose mechanisms of the redistribution of wealth in order to fight the serious inequality issues that Costa Rica faces,” Araya said. “There is nothing new to it as some other countries  have applied similar rules seeking the common good.”



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