In recent statements, Health Minister Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo suggested that Intensive Care Units (ICUs) expanded rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of a business, citing that health institutions received financial incentives for each bed. additional ICU. Jaramillo also questioned the quality of medical care in these units, mentioning that opening these beds without adequate staff could have caused more harm than good.
At the center of a declarative controversy, the Colombian Minister of Health, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo, has maintained that Colombia led the expansion of its Intensive Care Units (ICU) during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a thorough verification of data and analysis of specific studies, carried out by Agencia EFE, sheds light on the veracity of these statements.
“They tripled the beds in the Intensive Care Unit because it was a business. No country in the world had to expand Intensive Care Units like we expanded them here,” was the precise statement said by the current health minister.
In the first instance, Jaramillo stated that Colombia tripled its ICUs, a statement that is disconnected from reality supported by official figures. According to information from the Colombian Ministry of Health, at the height of the contingency, the country managed to enable 13,105 intensive care beds, approximately 2.5 times more than at the beginning of the pandemic. This discrepancy calls into question the minister’s assertion.
Contrary to Jaramillo’s claims, Spain emerged as a clear example of improvement in ICU expansion compared to Colombia. Spanish government statistics reveal that, during the first wave of infections in March 2020, the country managed to reach an impressive 13,801 intensive care beds, in stark contrast to the 4,447 beds counted in 2019. Additional details from the System’s Annual Report Spanish National Health Service confirms global growth 2.8 times greater than the pre-pandemic provision.
The expansion of ICU was not limited to Colombia, but became a global response to the health emergency. A study published by the scientific journal Health Policy, as reported by EFE, in collaboration with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies of the World Health Organization (WHO), breaks down how various governments, including Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden , managed to double their ICU capacity, depending on their conditions prior to the health crisis.
This phenomenon refutes the conception that the ICU expansion was unique to Colombia and supported the adaptation of resources, such as operating rooms or recovery rooms, according to the WHO technical guide published in 2020.
In summary, the Colombian minister’s statements lack support in light of the reality of the data and international comparisons. Spain and other countries surpassed Colombia in increasing ICUs, challenging the perception that the initiative responded to economic interests, and rather, was rooted in international technical recommendations to confront the global health crisis.
Minister of Health Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo questions management of EPS in Colombia
The Minister of Health, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo, criticized the management of EPS resources. Jaramillo revealed that the government disbursed 84 billion pesos to these entities, pointing out the lack of clarity in the investment of these funds.
He also highlighted that under the new health reform proposal, the EPS would change their function to resource auditors, while the Administrator of the Resources of the General Health Social Security System (Adres) would transfer the funds directly to the Healthcare Provider Institutions. Health (IPS). These statements add to the discussion of the health reform that has been approved in the House of Representatives and is now being debated in the Seventh Committee of the Senate.
Entities such as the National Academy of Medicine and the Colombian Epidemiology Association (Asocepic) expressed their disagreement with Jaramillo’s statements, arguing that they contravene scientific evidence and undermine confidence in vaccination. With Infobae