Costa Rica’s social health care system was initially introduced to the nation’s citizens in 1942 as : Illness and Maternity. Seguro Social, as it is named currently, began in order to benefit the country’s insured employees and their family members. Qualified members were able to receive access to adequate health care, disability coverage and much needed community education programs. Seguro Social manages the social and financial assistance of the insured, because it is also in charge of the pensions, as well.
Doctors in the country are highly qualified yet the healthcare system in Costa Rica is one of the worst in the world being unorganized and dysfunctional. Insured workers or qualified family members find themselves awaiting sometimes hours in endless lines to be able to schedule an appointment for a doctor visit then on the appointment date, the patient must wait just as long to actually consult with the corresponding physician.
Make a phone call to either the Seguro Social or the hospital assigned for your health care and the phone will ring for hours without an answer or when the unfriendly secretary decides to answer the telephone she will, either; not have an answer for you or will simply take the receiver off the phone to continue on with her personal conversation on her own cell phone or just continue checking her personal mail on-line.
To schedule for a surgery the majority of the times many await to receive an appointment date in years from the diagnosis date and to finally have the actual surgery performed, no matter how life threatening the illness might be, the patient will pass away while awaiting for the surgery date.
Once a prescription is dropped off at the pharmacy the patient might need to wait 5 hours to days at a time to have the prescription filled if the seguro social has the medications in the pharmacy , if not then you must wait until the medication is available. The doctors have to check at times to see if the pharmacy has the medication before it will be prescribed since the Seguro cannot provide the insured with the medications needed because either the Seguro Social does not have the medications or does not cover it.
In the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, which are the administrative offices for the national healthcare system for Costa Rica, there are more employees laboring in the facilities than there are doctors in all the hospitals in Costa Rica.
Dysfunctional, unorganized … the healthcare minister; Daisy Corrales and the admistrative offices of the Costarican healthcare system, need to prioritize the well being of what keeps the economy of this country afloat…… the insured and the family members whom are being neglected.
By Maria Fernanda Solano