A judge in Colombia’s Constitutional Court says President Alvaro Uribe‘s implementation of a “social emergency” to reform the country’s ailing health care system was unconstitutional.
According to Judge Jorge Ivan Palacio, Uribe’s reasons for declaring a state of “social emergency” are not strong enough to justify the declaration, which would allow him to make decrees to reform the healthcare system without a vote in Congress.
Palacio explained that the biggest fault of Uribe’s emergency declaration is that the crumbling healthcare system in Colombia was not an unforeseen event, meaning Uribe should have resorted to the traditional legislative channel, the Congress, in order to pass healthcare reforms.
In addition, the judge found that the reforms Uribe seeks to implement will not solve the underlying problem of the health care system in Colombia.
Uribe’s proposed healthcare reforms have caused heated debate across Colombia, with many of the country’s medical workers arguing that the executive orders should not pass because they are a violation of patients’ rights, and others questioning the legitimacy of the proposed emergency reforms.
Uribe, who was aware about the possibility that the Constitutional Court may throw out his emergency reforms, announced in early March that he would hammer out an agreement with Congress to pass his proposed healthcare reforms.
As yet, no such agreement has been made.
Uribe also said that the reforms will be one of his administration’s top priorities until July 20, when he leaves office.