international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Colombia: Upcoming and main changes expected with the Health System Reform

The Health System Reform seeks to improve and strengthen the General System of Social Security in Health and to guarantee the provision of services as a universal right. It proposes health for life, through a preventive and predictive system.

The main changes of the bill proposal are as follows:

1. The project envisages the creation of a network of Primary Care Centres, PCC’s, throughout the country, with a focus on preventive and predictive medicine, which will provide outpatient care, emergency care, hospitalisation, rehabilitation, laboratory tests and public health programmes.

2. Creation of PCC’s in the territories, organising the provision of health services by territories with an average of 25,000 people per territory, distributed according to place of residence or work, with itinerant medical teams that permanently visit families in the regions.

The resources for primary health care will be executed by the Health System Resources Administrator, ADRES, with direct monthly transfers to public, private, or mixed health care providers.

3. Dignification of health workers, the initiative seeks to improve working conditions, with stability and the facility to increase their knowledge, as well as guaranteeing continuous education and updating for all personnel.

4. The HPCs (Health Promoting Company) (EPS) in the reform:

Those with good financial statements will remain, and those will take in patients in a progressive and orderly manner so that they are not left without coverage. The New HPSC will be strengthened to cover the territories in which, due to the liquidation of some HPCs, they are left without an insurance entity.

Important to highlight the following:

The project indicates that the complementary plans, extended medicine, or health policies will continue to function normally and will not be affected by the reform bill.

Likewise, during the transition, no patient who is currently being treated or undergoing highly complex treatment will be left without coverage.

Every four years, the Ministry of Health shall formulate the Health Science and Technology Policy to define the priorities for investment in research, technological development and innovation in health, according to the available resources.

It will also revise the policy on medicines, supplies and health technologies so as to guarantee universal access. It also proposes a single labour regime for workers in the system who, as a general rule, will be bound by an employment contract.

ADRES‘ income will be made up of contributions from the National General Budget, which will be defined through the budgetary selection of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, assets transferred by the Nation and by other public entities of the national and territorial order.

Key Action Points for Human-Resources and In-House Counsel.

To bear in mind for employers, in terms of social security contributions, the requirements are not set to be modified.

Furthermore, employers are encouraged to remain at disposal on new employment and labour law regulations related to the health systems reform, according to the new Government objectives, if implemented, may need to be undertaken in the workplace.