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News > Colombia

Colombian Congress Votes Against Unpopular Health Reform Bill

  • The vote to shelve the Reform bill had 16 votes in favor in the House and 11 votes in favor in the Senate.

    The vote to shelve the Reform bill had 16 votes in favor in the House and 11 votes in favor in the Senate. | Photo: teleSUR

Published 19 May 2021

The bill was one of the demands of the demonstrators of the Colombian National Strike, who demanded its elimination.

After 22 days of the National Strike against the neoliberal policies of the Government of Iván Duque, the Seventh Commission of the House of Representatives, together with the Colombian Senate, decided to shelve the Health Reform bill.

The vote had 16 votes in favor in the House and 11 votes in favor in the Senate, as reported by the latter through its Twitter account.


Colombia: Lawmakers To Vote On Controversial Health Reform

The repercussion among members of Congress was not long in coming. Senator Victoria Sandino stated in a message on social networks that "the Health Reform has been shelved. Mobilization is useful! Long live the National Strike."

"Afro communities require a special health model with a community approach, under the control of the communities that attend to their needs and epidemiological profiles—this reform ignored that mandate," expressed the representative to the House for Afro communities, Jhon Arley Murillo Benítez.

For his part, Jairo Cala, member of the Comunes party and House representative for Santander, commented that "we consider that this was a project that deserved to open spaces to deepen citizen participation because evidently, as it was presented, it was a project that did not solve the structural problems."

"The #JointSession of the @ComisionVII—where the proposals submitted by Congress for the Healthcare Reform Bill were considered—discussed and voted upon, has finished.

"Health cannot continue to be a business, and as this health reform was proposed it continued to be, in that sense if we continue with that system, we will never reach a good port," argued the member of the Alianza Verde party and representative to the Chamber, Fabián Díaz.

Bill 010 or the Health Reform bill included aspects such as health safety, prevention, and management of new emergencies. According to the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, this reform has modifications of a financial and territorial nature.

Health unions have criticized that the bill attempts to regulate the statutory health law of July 2020 and that the modifications only distract from the situation Colombia is currently experiencing. In the opinion of Senator Guillermo García, the bill favored private individuals and businesses over the fundamental right to health.

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