If We Should Make a Gift to Our Health System, it is to Assume the Commitment to Get Involved…

…All of Us, in the Necessary Actions to Prevent Access to Health Services From Continuing to be Affected.

Starting the year, we are facing another situation that contributes to the imbalance suffered by the health ecosystem in Puerto Rico.

This is the decision of Hospital El Maestro to consider taking refuge in the protection of the Bankruptcy Law, as an alternative to its financial situation. This is an institution that has been offering services in Puerto Rico for more than 60 years to members of one of the most important unions in the country, The Teachers Association of Puerto Rico.

Hospital El Maestro joins one of the many situations that threaten the stability of our health ecosystem. Another example is the bankruptcy of the San Jorge Children’s Hospital, an institution that has undoubtedly been important for the care of our children.
Due to situations like these, the government has to find a way to balance the island’s health ecosystem. It cannot allow institutions such as Hospital El Maestro or San Jorge Children’s Hospital to have to, for reasons beyond their control, seek aggressive alternatives to keep operating. These options would indirectly have an impact on the health of the people.

It is urgent that the other participants in the health ecosystem take immediate proactive actions so that they are participants in the solution and not in the problem. From the Legislative Branch to insurers, institutions must immerse themselves in the search for solutions.

We have to work so that these and all hospitals maintain healthy operations, strengthen their faculties and attract doctors to the island. Thus we improve access to health services and guarantee a productive society.

Possible alternatives include encouraging doctors and hospitals so that doctors establish their practices around hospital institutions; make the licensing and contracting process with insurers more flexible; create incentive projects to develop certified medical residency programs; promote medical tourism; and encourage employers to offer health coverage options to their employees.

These alternatives must be analyzed and considered as ways to find a solution to the crisis we are facing.

At a historical juncture in which access to health services for citizens is so complex, we should join forces to prevent further dislocation of the operations of the providers of these services. Doing otherwise would create such a fine bottleneck in access to health services that we would have a domino effect on our health indicators, and consequently on the productivity of our workforce.

This would also affect the economic, social and emotional ecosystem of Puerto Rico. We cannot see health and the difficulties that health providers face as isolated issues in our daily lives. This is everyone’s problem. And the will of all concerned sectors is needed to solve it.

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