Oversight Board Approves Additional Funds for Health Care
Government to Reapportion $253 Million to Department of Health and Various Programs
SAN JUAN – The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico announced that it approved $253 million in funding for hospitals, opioid treatment programs, telehealth, and medical student scholarships.
The board said Friday that the Certified Fiscal Plan outlines priority investments in public hospitals, including the Comprehensive Cancer Center; information technology to improve the use of digital management tools; telehealth to establish access in underserved areas; mental health and drug addiction programs; and scholarships for medical students committed to serving in rural areas of Puerto Rico after graduation. The approved funds will support those initiatives.
“Puerto Rico’s recovery remains highly dependent on improvements to the public health infrastructure,” said the board’s executive director, Natalie Jaresko. “That is why investments in the health care system remain one of the priorities of the Oversight Board and the Certified Fiscal Plan. The people of Puerto Rico must be able to rely on their hospitals and health care providers to give the care they need, in emergencies and every day. The funding the Oversight Board approved, together with the funds proposed in the fiscal year 2021 budget and the reforms in the Certified Fiscal Plan, will help to achieve those goals.”
The funds are part of the healthcare reserve that is funded with money previously budgeted for Medicaid expenses and made available following the federal government’s increase in Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico in December.
“The reapportionment of the funds will not increase the fiscal year 2020 budget. The agencies receiving the funds will have to report monthly how the money was spent,” the board’s press release reads.
The following is a breakdown of the use of funds provided by the board: