0The lack of supplies and medicines, in addition to excessive delays in accessing medical care, constitutes part of the agony that those insured by the Social Security Institute (IPS) must endure. Waiting for hours to access or get an appointment from the call center and waiting months to undergo a study or medical procedure adds to the agonies of pension users.
Waiting two months or more for a medical examination or consultation does not guarantee the insured that they will finally access these procedures. After the presidential decree that moved the “Worker’s Day” holiday to May 2, pension officials chose to postpone 26 thousand shifts that had been confirmed for Monday, including surgeries, leaving patients adrift.
In an interview for 780 AM, Dr. Jorge Batista, IPS health manager, announced that these shifts “will have to be rescheduled.” “We know that it is difficult to get shifts through the call center. So, from the IPS, we took the initiative to call”, he added.
However, he did not specify the exact time period in which users will retrieve these schedules.
In the midst of the lack of medicines and supplies, the IPS is focused on the purchase or contracting of expensive and flashy services.
Recently, the Previsional made a call for bids to hire “security and surveillance services for the different IPS dependencies”, as stated on the website of the National Directorate of Public Contracting. Only in this process, the institution intends to spend more than G. 46,094 million.
However, the Procurement records indicate that during the last call for the acquisition of this service, the institution allocated G. 34,000 million.
In the same line of irregularities, at the end of March, the Social Security launched a call to hire “cleaning and sanitizing services for the different IPS dependencies.” Only in this process, the institution intends to spend more than G. 109,000 million for 10 lots or items.
However, the records of the DNCP reveal that during the last call for the acquisition of the same service, the institution spent G 25,292,387,028 for seven lots or items.
The El Independiente team tried to contact the director of the IPS Procurement Unit to find out why the price for acquiring the same services had increased considerably, but received no response.
IPS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
The president of the Medical Association of the Social Security Institute (Amips), Edilberto Rivarola, explained that the institution is going through “a truly critical moment.”
“Unfortunately, the irregular bidding systems, overinvoicing and all the practices to which this Council model has already accustomed us have never stopped,” he said.
Thus, Rivarola recalled the responsibility that the IPS Board of Directors has in the state of need that the institution is going through.
“The different councilors report directly to the President of the Republic. If we are in a political and instructive year, of course they are going to try to put all the systems in their favor to obtain benefits”, he pointed out.
Finally, the president of Amips lamented the “insensitivity” that the institution has with patients and their families.
“Users and their families are camping in rubber tarpaulins and, however, the authorities order a parking lot,” he said.