Local October 15, 2023 | 12:00 pm

Expert warns about the collapse of the Basic Health Plan’s financial reserves

Arismendi Díaz Santana

Santo Domingo.- Economist Arismendi Díaz Santana called attention to the fact that the Financial Reserves of the Basic Health Plan project an annual deficit that could have a serious impact on the quality and timeliness of essential services, and on family out-of-pocket spending.

“The Family Health Insurance has income, expenses and a reserve for any contingency, as was the case of Covid, and what has happened now is that the capita has gone up more than what the system is receiving, and that is causing the savings that it had, that cushion, to be reduced, and if this is the case, it will be reduced, and if this problem continues, we will have to ask people to contribute more, or we will have to increase out-of-pocket expenses, eliminate some services or reduce the quality of the services provided”, warned the specialist in Social Security in an interview on the D`AGENDA program.

He specified that this is a voice of alarm that he is giving to be taken into account, and the most worrying thing is that this critical situation that is taking place does not lead the Dominican Medical Association, which insists on continuing to paralyze its work to demand a series of increases that exceed, according to the Superintendent of Health, all the expectations and reality of the Dominican Social Security System.

“So, if you are asking me for more than I can give you, you are conspiring against me, that is why we as the Foundation raised the alarm, so that the country takes it into account and, above all, appealing to the good doctors, who are the majority, so that they realize that you cannot, as the saying goes, tighten the screw too much,” warned Arismendi Díaz.

He argued that, “you cannot expect the country to extend its feet beyond the sheet, because some problem is going to come, and that problem is going to be paid for by the population.

Arismendi Díaz said that the Basic Health Plan already projects an annual deficit of more than one billion pesos, which he insisted will have a serious impact on the quality and timeliness of essential services, and on out-of-pocket spending.

Arismendi Díaz Santana

Arismendi Díaz Santana deplores the fact that the DR is the country in the region with the greatest gap in low quality of public hospitals compared to private clinics.

The Dominican Republic is below most countries in the region in terms of the poor quality offered by state-run health centers, with respect to the good service offered by private clinics, according to international consultant on Social Security, economist Arismendi Díaz Santana.

“There is a gap between the public health offer, which is still deficient, discontinuous and inconsiderate for the population, and the progress that private medicine has made in the Dominican Republic, with the particularity that in this country, the Public Health doctors are the same ones who work in the private clinics, but in the State hospitals they receive a salary and therefore do not have to make any effort, and in the private clinics they have to attend the population well, because if not, they do not receive income,” lamented Díaz Santana.

He deplored that as a result of this reality there is a division, because the logical thing would be that the majority of the Dominican population could satisfactorily go to the public hospitals of the country.

“That was the reality that I saw in Costa Rica, in Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Chile, in those countries there is not so much difference between the quality of the public service, and that of the private service, with telling you that here there is a way of expressing that difference, the hospital is a sign of poverty and poor quality, and the clinics are signs of good attention and good quality services,” he complained.

He recalled that in the United States there is no such difference, nor is there one in Latin America, hospitals and clinics have more or less the same levels of quality.

“In other words, the big problem we have, that is why I say that we are at half size, is that the State has lagged behind the private sector, and therefore, even the poorest and most vulnerable population still wants to go to a private clinic, and tries not to go to a public hospital, and that is negative for the country”, said Arismendi Díaz when he was interviewed on the D’AGENDA program.

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