For 80% of the Chilean population and the thousands of public health workers, the last sayings of the government health authorities leave us with a mixture of anger and outrage. Neither early-morning social life centers, nor books full of congratulations, nor the best health system, is what we could stand out from our current public network, but quite the opposite, centres of suffering for long waits, without the most basic resources to care for people who don’t see their health improve would be a closer description to our reality.
The video of a neurosurgery team of the Barros Luco Hospital operating in the light of cell phone lanterns that has made headlines, is the most graphic and extreme expression of this totally precarized system. Situations like these are not an isolated event, but the daily tragedy faced by those of us who care for ourselves or work in the public network, which is sustained by the «stamina» of health equipment, which sometimes borders on the negligence of normalizing unworthy conditions of work and care for the people.
For some, however, this system leaves great benefits by constantly seeking to enrich itself at the expense of the disease business, from private insurers (ISAPRES), which have seen their profits increase year by year, reaching in 2018 to more than 65 billion (30 billion more than in 2017) under the great formula of providing health services for the rich and healthy, while expelling the poor, old, women and the sick; up to the clinics and chains of private medical centers that have increased exponentially in the last decade at the expense of the out-of-pocket expense of a segment of FONASA patients who, tired of waiting, with a lot of effort buy a bond that allows them care Timely. Why talk about big pharmacies, which collate speculate on the prices of drugs that people require to alleviate their ailments. In a market health model the disease is profitable and as long as you can generate business around it there will be no room for decent health for all.
This contradiction erupts daily in hospitals and offices, when we must ask the patient if they can make the effort to buy a remedy or have a particular exam so that we do not have to thicken the waiting list. As long as public health workers and users continue to turn a blind eye, remaining in an individual complaint or immobile for fear of reprisals, it will not change. Today more than ever it is necessary to rise up against any system of precarization. It is urgent to move into collective action, to rise as organized professionals, conscious and with a vocation for the health of our people. Otherwise, our health system will remain the best (business niche) in the world.
The content poured into this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.