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Jesús Manuel Ortiz Asks to Join Forces Upon Health System Crisis

By on October 15, 2016

SAN JUAN — Public Affairs Secretary and Popular Democratic Party (PDP) House candidate Jesús Manuel Ortiz encouraged Puerto Rican voters to join forces and address the island’s health-system crisis.

“Puerto Rico’s healthcare system and its financial situation are one of the pillars of economic recovery” on the fiscal plan, he commented. He added that despite efforts throughout the years, the Medical Service Administration (ASEM by its Spanish initials) requires tools to maintain its fiscal stability and be able to provide medical services.

BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14:  A doctor at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham does his rounds on the wards on June 14, 2006 in Birmingham, England. Senior managers of the NHS have said that the organisation needs to become more open in the future.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

“It is the country’s political class’ duty to present alternatives to guarantee that the country’s principal health center has fiscal health, is updated in technological aspects, has an efficient physical plant and continues serving its patients well. The Medical Center is everyone’s hospital. We can’t allow it to continue risking its capability to provide services,” expressed Ortiz.

The PDP candidate explained that as part of Puerto Rico’s health scaffolding, ASEM sells services to the Psychiatric Hospital, the Municipal Hospital, The University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus (RCM by its Spanish acronym), University Hospital, Cardiovascular Center, Pediatric Hospital, Oncological Hospital, and the Industrial Hospital.

These participant entities, except for the Municipal and Psychiatric hospitals, have millionaire debts with ASEM, while health insurance companies have $18.5 million in debts as of 1997.

“The Medical Center’s fiscal crisis is so severe that for the last 19 years it has been operating with more expenses than incomes, which keeps it in a $18 million deficit, placing it on imminent danger,” warned Ortiz.

Ortiz said ASEM’s fiscal situation is complicated by creditor and participating entities debts, the cost of a health reform and its effects on ASEM’s incomes, especially tariffs paid by the insurance industry; plus, the fact that more than half of patients have the government’s health plan.

“On this fiscal crisis, one of the principal aspects is to address our health system. We have to guarantee our people that the Medical Center is still a medical installation open for everyone, with the best technology and a first-class physical plant, so all Puerto Ricans can receive the medical services they deserve,” he indicated.

Therefore, he believes it is time to “join forces to look at new administration and operation models that temper with our current reality. A transformation of the Medical Center’s organizational structure is necessary, as well as its finance model, because short-term changes will only have the effect of minimizing losses and the problem will continue.”

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