Valle hospitals suspend public health care

Five Valle del Cauca hospitals suspended all health services, including urgent procedures, for clients of a troubled health insurance company, the company’s manager said Wednesday.

According to Oriana Carvajal, manager of Calisalud insurance, some 30,000 people in the department have now lost access to healthcare.

“We are seeking the help of the department’s health secretary to bring sanctions against these hospitals because this practice is illegal. We have also asked the health minister to intervene. We have informed the president, because we believe that this is a symptom of something that is happening all over the country,” Carvajal said.

The hospitals refuse to help the Calisalud clients as they fear the insurance company will not be able to pay for treatments.

There are 450,000 people in the region affiliated with Caliasalud. When the insurance company called in December for hospitals to continue to offer public health services despite their financial problems, 60% of local hospitals refused.

The crisis in Colombia’s health care system is a national problem. The sector is considered on the brink of collapse.

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