The Minister of Public Health, Daniel Salinas, defended the agreement reached between the government, the medical workers of Casa de Galicia and the mutual societies that absorbed the partners of the closed provider, and assured that “If some want to repeat the scheme that ruined the institution, the possible solution would be doomed to failure”in a tweet he published this Sunday.
The chief told The Observer what with these statements he responded to the doctors who criticized the agreement for their investment and the number of transferred workers in social networks “when they were always thrown”. The chief stressed that “The SMU (Uruguayan Medical Union) never agreed on anything. It is the first directive to do so,” in reference to the closure of other mutual insurance companies.
The agreement involves an investment of $19 million from the capitations of the National Health Fund (Fonasa) and the hiring of 250 medical workers among the five mutualists that received the former members of Casa de Galicia (Círculo Católico, Hospital Evangélico, Universal, Cudam and Crami).
Salinas explained that these 250 workers will be transferred “At first”, and that they intend to transfer more doctors to the five providers, until they give the $ 19 million. “The initial offer was 5 million pesos and it was quadrupled”, expressed on Twitter. “We played a lot and even the companies criticized us for that“said the chief.
Mutual members spend 30% of their Fonasa income on doctors, such as the defense of @smuruguay . That represents 19 million pesos per month between 5 providers. If some want to repeat the scheme that ruined the institution, the possible solution would be doomed to failure. pic.twitter.com/VFLXtclp7B
— Daniel Salinas (@DrDanielSalinas) April 10, 2022
The minister pointed out that several of the mutual society’s doctors “got work”, so the initial base of workers was shortenedand detailed that the 40% of employees in this category were linked to “sale of services”hence they cannot be transferred “in a snap.”
To this Salinas adds that those people who have not been employed by the companies will collect 18 months unemployment insurancethe 12 agreed in the negotiations and agreed in the law that gave solution to the closing of Casa de Galicia, and the 6 legal months foreseen for all the cases.
“They don’t count the wins either. There are 37 doctors still working in support services at the Sanatorium” of Casa de Galicia, he added.
Salinas noted that “there were doctors with seven jobs and 2 hours a week in the polyclinic” who “work for personal income tax but do not reason”and that Priority was given to “the degrees of dependence on said employment and female heads of household”.
The agreement divides three preference groups when hiring: the first includes those who had Casa de Galicia as their only source of income, group 2 those who obtained 60% of their income through this provider and the third those who obtained less than that percentage. The maximum term for the distribution of these groups it is 75 days.
The Secretary of State was also critical of the wage protests, which will be capped at $184,000 nominal monthlyand in cases where the amount is exceeded working hours will be reduced until reachedkeeping at least 70% of work and remuneration. For Salinas, this situation was “socialized” because “Before, those who earned less than 250,000 would receive 100% and those who received more, 70%”and believes that doctors they don’t talk about “high salaries” because “it’s not convenient for them to talk.”
“The best is the enemy of the good”
The president of the SMU, Zaida Arteta, assured that the union is not “satisfied” with the agreement reachedin a statement published on the union’s page, reported by Montevideo Portal. “We saw how there is a wrong political position (who knows what prioritizes), which defends medical work with low workload, low dedication, low pay, multi-employment and therefore lower quality and greater uncertainty”criticized Arteta.
The trade unionist stated that there were some “variables” that made negotiations difficultWhat “the brief time span of the negotiation”which arose “of a law that did not establish a minimum number of workers to be distributed, nor minimum conditions, such as respect for awards, or the dependency relationship so that basic labor rights are maintained”in reference to the law voted in Parliament on the situation of Casa de Galicia.
For his part, the medical secretary of the SMU, José Minarrieta, criticized Salinas’s tweet with another publication on the social network, and said that “at the negotiation table it was clear to everyone that the accounts do not give” what the minister valued. “Those 19 (millions of pesos) should have been at least 25 if the numbers of the providers they absorbed were respected”declared Minarrieta, and remarked that it should have been $38 million if the union had wanted to “repeat the Casa de Galicia ratio”although “it was never like that”.
On twitter it may be, but at the negotiating table it was clear to everyone that the accounts do not give that. Those 19 must have been at least 25 if the numbers of the providers they absorbed were respected. Moreover, they reached 38 if we had tried (which was never the case) to reach https://t.co/v6DHafWstX
– José Minarrieta (@MinarrietaJose) April 10, 2022
However, Arteta also valued the “glass half full” of the situation, in which “Colleagues who depend financially on Casa de Galicia will soon have similar jobs and conditions”and in which they predict that “the number of people who will keep their jobs, although it is uncertain today, it is highly likely that it will exceed this minimum agreed figure“.
Salinas indicated that the position of the SMU “is logical”, because “there is always a maximum position”but believe that the current solution will be “a success story in the coming years”, because it is the first agreement reached by the union before the closure of a mutual company. In this case, the hierarch opined that “The best is the enemy of the good”.
“We made every effort. We played hard so that providers got to where they got”added the minister.