Bolivian Health Minister, Gabriela Montaño, stated on Wednesday that almost 1.9 million people have been registered in the Unified Health System (SUS) since it was launched by President Evo Morales on Friday, March 1.
Bolivia Inaugurates Free Universal Health Care System
"We have 1,896,712 people registered in the SUS throughout the country," Minister Montaño stated during a press conference on Wednesday, before explaining that this registration process does not have a deadline and that people can do it by presenting their identification card.
According to Minister Montaño, the free health care system is "advancing at a firm pace," since the SUS was inaugurated by President Morales, on Friday, over 35 thousand persons have received free medical attention throughout Bolivia. The SUS "is a benefit and a way to make concrete the right of access to health by the population, a right that is in the Constitution," stated Montaño.
President Evo Morales stated on Tuesday that the SUS "must give a better service than the one offered by other health insurances in the country," that this system was devised together with the Bolivian people and different social sectors, to "guarantee medical attention to the most deprived sectors," of society.
Minister Montaño lamented that not all the local governments, such as those from La Paz, Santa Cruz or Tarija, are showing a predisposition to sign the agreements with the central government to implement the SUS in some "third level" hospitals, Bolivian Information Agency (ABI) reported, "we will continue to make the necessary coordination so that in the 339 municipalities people with the SUS can be attended to," Montaño said.
According to ABI, the Bolivian government has guaranteed an initial budget of US$200 million and another US$2 Billion for the construction of hospitals. Additionally, US$30 million will be invested in strengthening the equipment and the number of professionals who will treat patients in more than 300 locations covered by the SUS.