IG asks court to overturn healthcare decrees

Colombia’s Inspector General (IG) Alejandro Ordoñez Tuesday asked the Constitutional Court to find the government’s healthcare reforms unconstitutional, and said they are not a viable solution for the nation’s ailing healthcare system.

“The healthcare system crisis is not the product of events that happened suddenly and unexpectedly, that happened without warning, because for a long time there have been recurrent and progressive breaches of the fundamental right to health.  This is evident in the neglect of patients and the gradual increase of requests for services not covered under POS [Colombia’s state-run national health system],” Ordoñez said.

The IG said that the government should use conventional ways to address the problems of Colombia’s health service rather than implement reforms through its “emergency plan.”

Doctors and scientists have criticized the government’s decision to bypass Congress and issue the reforms through presidential decree.

Ordoñez also asked the court to overturn the government’s decision to raise so-called “vice” taxes, on alcohol, tobacco and gambling to fund state-run health insurance.

According to the IG, the vice taxes violate the right to equality, as only certain groups of consumers must pay the tax.

There is strong opposition in Colombia to the government’s proposed health care overhaul.


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