Colombia’s Constitutional Court on Monday ordered public health insurance companies (EPS) not to deny treatment to patients with deteriorating illnesses such as AIDS.
According to the Court, EPS are not allowed to obstruct treatments or required medical procedures to patients with deteriorating illnesses such as AIDS simply because they are not making required contributions to the health care fund.
“According to the above, this Court has stated that the responsible entities cannot obstruct treatments or medical procedures required for an affiliate that has been diagnosed with a catastrophic or deteriorating illness, under the argument that he/she has not contributed to the number of weeks the law states, being shown the urgent situation and the incapacity of the user to cover the cost of his/her charge,” the court ruled Monday.
The ruling was made in a case of a Norte de Santander couple infected with AIDS who were denied treatment from an EPS because the husband could not pay the 26 weeks of contributions required to cover his wife’s costs reported El Tiempo.
The director of the EPS in Norte Santander said that he was only following the regulations of the system and that the customer was not denied the treatment he required.
Colombia’s public health system is run by private health care companies (EPS) in charge of government funds directed towards health care for the poor community. Users of the system, and employers are required to pay small contributions to the health care fund.
“Above the law and regulations, is life, as the foundation of the entire system. So in these cases, the members that don’t meet the minimum periods of contribution and require treatment for a illness considered catastrophic or deteriorating, without having necessary resources to meet the corresponding percentage, they have the right and the entities have the duty to attend to them,” the ruling stated.