Privatization of Health-Care

Honduran medical expert states not all types of health care will be covered by new social security

Tumor specialists, heart specialists, neurosurgeons, intensive care workers, specialists in inherited illnesses, HIV specialists, among others will not be covered following reforms to contemporary social security, says Elmer Mayes, President of the Honduras Medical College (CMH – Colegio Medico de Honduras).

Elmer Mayes Honduras College of Medicine

Elmer Mayes, Honduras College of Medicine

Doctor Mayes said that the new law would basically privatize high-cost medical care throughout the country. Mayes said that the new law would force many clinics to privatize high-cost and crucial health care services.

“We are all for supporting universal safety, and equitable care, but we are worried that this will leave the door wide open for privatization, so that these services are done by private businesses,” he said.

He explains that the problem is that this makes it able to tax or put a price on good health. “It won’t be universal, if the security isn’t universal and the coverage for some things isn’t there. Even when it is there, it isn’t always 100% there. This system only covers certain illnesses, only some risk, and on this basis injustices can be committed,” said the doctor.

He says that this will be a loss for the people affected, because many sick people will have to spend a lot of money to get better.

“This law practically forces patients to pay what the insurance can’t or won’t. The costs they will have to pay will be determined by the illness, the insurance can pay parts of it, but when your sickness is out of the coverage, they have to pay,” he said.  Basically, this means the coverage could pick what types of cancer to cover, and what types not to cover, and at the end, someone might have to pay for their own treatment, “We’ll talk about something simpler. It’ll cover pregnancies, but if complications occur, which are rare, it is possible that the complications will cost extra.”

The Law

The project “Ley Marco del Sistema de Protección Social para una Vida Mejor” establishes in its 6th article, a multi-pillar model of its services. Article 14 leaves the possibility open that some services can be provided by 3rd party providers.

The text of the article says: “To guarantee the integral access to health, and adequate levels of quality, opportunity, quality, and efficiency, the IHSS will proportion, some of its own means, to get benefits set out in economic, technical, human and material capacity.”

*The above is a translation.  Source: http://www.laprensa.hn/honduras/757337-410/seguro-social-no-atender%C3%A1-enfermedades-costosas*

If you are concerned with Honduran health-care, which has been a hot button issue since April, this is an extremely important topic to pay attention to. At its base, this means that despite having social security, there are some procedures which the reforms to contemporary social security won’t be covering. This could not only mean privatization of health-care, it could mean basic health care services might cost a heavy amount. This is just one problem Hondurans have to face when it comes to getting proper medical care.


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