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Due to technical and scientific gaps, Executive vetoes Health Code – The Daily News Box

ByKathleen Dupont

Sep 25, 2020

Quito, September 25, 2020

The President of the Republic Lenín Moreno totally objected to the project of the Organic Health Code (COS), approved by the National Assembly on August 25.

At a press conference, Johana Pesántez, legal secretary of the Presidency, read the reasons for this decision. The announcement was made in the company of the Minister and Vice Minister of Public Health, Juan Carlos Zevallos and Xavier Solórzano, respectively.

“We present the total objection to the bill. The text suffers from inaccuracies, errors, and presents an unclear health structure in terms of competencies and responsibilities. It lacks an update according to the requirements of Ecuadorian society, it does not respond to the new realities, even more so to the experience we have lived during the pandemic, “said Pesántez.

The highest authority of Health said that the veto to the project is comprehensive, and that it does not respond to a decision article by article. One of the reasons for this observation was not to find in the project the inclusion of topics related to treatment for COVID-19, or epidemiological control strategies. “With the support of experts, lawyers and health professionals, we analyzed the project in its entirety and found more than 400 observations both in substance and form,” he explained.

He assured that the three books that make up the COS were questioned. The first with 55%; the second with 44% and the third with 46%, due to an abundance of inconsistencies and contradictions. Minister Zevallos invited the different social groups to jointly work on a new health project, the content of which would make a qualitative leap in health matters and reflect the capacities required to face new threats.

“This Code makes medical practice impossible. It creates 172 administrative sanctions for health professionals, which would generate a very high cost in medical services for citizens, and would duplicate efforts, “he said.

He reiterated that the COS does not establish priority care for cases of domestic violence, diabetes or stress, diseases that during the pandemic grew significantly in society. “Ecuador must undertake a new process of inclusive, technical-scientific collective construction, and be an example in public health standards on an international scale,” Zevallos said.

For his part, Vice Minister Solórzano highlighted the systematic work carried out in the last 30 days, with the support of 170 actors, including doctors, scientific and civil society, unions and businessmen, who presented the needs and demands of the population.

For more information, download the COS veto annex here.

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