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News > Colombia

Colombia: Lawmakers To Vote On Controversial Health Reform

  • Police officers shoot at demonstrators in Bogota, Colombia, May 2021.

    Police officers shoot at demonstrators in Bogota, Colombia, May 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @mattrodierphot1

Published 19 May 2021

Citizens are also protesting against this Duque-backed reform, which would promote the creation of business conglomerates and destroy public hospitals.

Colombian lawmakers on Wednesday will vote on a controversial healthcare reform that would privilege private clinics and pharmaceutical companies instead of easing people's access to medical attention.


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Meanwhile, citizens remain in the streets protesting against President Ivan Duque for two consecutive weeks. They also demand the withdrawal of the healthcare bill promoted in Congress on July 20, 2020.

"Health workers must have a policy aligned with their needs. We require labor dignity and performance incentives, which are not guaranteed in this reform," Colombian Health Professionals Association's President Maria Atuesta said.

Duque's reform would promote the creation of business conglomerates, the liquidation of public hospitals, and the denial of services and treatments to those who cannot pay for them.

"The initiative turns the ill into merchandise, into clients. Colombia is condemned to have a monopolized health system, often involved in major corruption cases," lawmaker Guillermo Garcia added.

The bill also impacts university autonomy, as it affects doctor's ongoing training and changes the academic curriculum to the detriment of quality.

"Colombia's health system is a failure. The new project would only worsen the quality of our services. The citizens' lives must be our priority," Bogota's Medical School President Herman Bayona pointed out.

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