The health care provider is involved in a crisis. Tension with doctors and lack of attention in doctor’s offices and pharmacies for lack of payment
The Institute of Medical Assistance Work (IOMA), the social work of the Buenosairean state, faces a new crisis situation and the unions fear for the continuity of the health services.
Last week, the IOMA authorities denounced 12 doctors from the province of Buenos Aires, for alleged fraud against the entity. According to the Buenosairean social work, these professionals invoiced benefits that they did not carry out, generating a millionaire fraud to the provincial coffers.
The measure generated the reaction of the union of doctors, and sparked a strong controversy over the situation of the body, says Union Management.
Crisis and drop in medical benefits
The state supported the IOMA initiative, supporting the judicial investigation. Despite this, there is concern about the reality of the entity, since they assure that several benefits have fallen in recent times. The unions that make up the directory demand greater transparency regarding the management of funds, especially after the governor Axel Kicillof Announce a rescue plan for private clinics and sanitariums, which could make the Province keep the management of some of these establishments.
The situation of the IOMA is a topic of discussion among the state unions. In fact, in yesterday’s protest by the courts, the issue was incorporated into the claims document. The big problem is that benefits are being cut, in the absence of payments, while the social work struggles to improve resources. But in between, a 400 million peso plan was announced to save private clinics, which generated discomfort.
“IOMA is a disaster, the attention has been complicated for a long time, we have to carry out a structural improvement,” an ATE leader told Gestión Sindical, in strict off. The union has been demanding changes in the directory, which has union representation but only from the majority: the teachers through SUTEBA and the municipal through one of its federations. ATE is claiming a place at that table, and criticizes the lack of control of those vowels.
“For years, cases of corruption have been reported, of embezzlement of workers’ funds, but nothing could ever be done from the board. As it is, it does not work,” said the same leader, leaving open the union internal that is in the organism.
Members fear worsening medical benefits.
Controversy over the accusation against doctors
Despite the differences, some twenty unions signed a statement supporting the complaint by the IOMA authorities to 12 doctors, whom they accuse of having invoiced services that they never provided, and that would amount to 8 million pesos. Given this, the Platense Medical Association (AMP), which represents professionals, held a protest and denounced that what the social work seeks is to limit the possibility that members choose the doctors with whom to care for them. In response, the entity states that the union “looked the other way”, and did not control the professionals. Given this, the state supported the decision of the province of Buenos Aires.
“We communicate our support for the institute’s decision to audit and denounce the alleged crime of fraud,” said the document, signed by the entire union arc, says Gestión Sindical.
The leadership recalled that “for some time we have been demanding that IOMA, through the union advisory council, audit and control compliance with the agreement by provider organizations and the misconduct of professionals, because we believe that this violates the rights of affiliated, hence the union vocations and all the unions that have representation in this union Advisory Council, we accompany the measures implemented by the institute. ”
This episode created tension in the other providers, because they have been experiencing problems for a long time in collecting their services. One of the cases of greatest concern is that of pharmacies, which in the midst of a pandemic could cut or limit the delivery of medicines. The situation worsened when the social work decided to change the liquidation times of the prescriptions dispensed for its affiliates, going from a biweekly presentation to a monthly one. This, they fear in the sector, will further delay payments.
“Since February we have not received full payments, that is, since before the pandemic. Later, all partial payments,” a source from the College of Pharmacists in the province of Buenos Aires confirmed to Union Management. Pharmacies also have trouble accessing flu vaccines, which are in high demand especially among retirees. “The doses are not there, affiliates ask us for a response, but we cannot give it, and they put us in an uncomfortable place,” added the same source.
Clinic rescue plan
In the midst of the crisis, IOMA announced a controversial plan to save private clinics in the midst of a pandemic. It is about 400 million pesos that will be used to save private sector establishments facing serious difficulties in the midst of the crisis. The measure generated criticism from the unions, since these funds come from the social work, which is having so many problems sustaining benefits.
Although the authorities deny that the idea is to keep sanatoriums, there is already a model plan: in Temperley, in the southern Buenos Aires suburbs, the IOMA will seek to open a clinic – called Comahue – under its management. The place, which once served PAMI affiliates, has been closed for some time, and could be the first sanatorium for provincial social work.
In this case, the unions rejected the rescue plan, through different documents. “The justification of the measure in the lack of resources on the part of the State to bear the cost of the rescue, refers us to the central debate on which social sector should bear the weight of the health crisis and its devastating consequences on the economy,” he clarified. at the time the Buenos Aires Judicial Association (AJB), as indicated by the Union Management portal.
In this regard, the union entity added that “we understand that it is essential to advance in the implementation of public policies that oblige the sectors with the greatest economic capacity to make the necessary contribution to finance the most urgent social needs; in particular, those business groups that during the last four years they accumulated extraordinary profits at the expense of the indebtedness and impoverishment of the great majority “.
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