The health system is favorable for 73% of Colombians – Health
73 percent of the affiliates to the health system rate it above 3, that is, favorably on a scale from one to five, according to ‘The Great Survey of the Health System in Colombia’ carried out by Andi and Invamer.
The results, based on 2,704 surveys, carried out between January 20 and 29, in the main regions of the country, broadly show the perception of Colombians about their relationship with the current health model, in addition to impressions about potential changes in reform times.
In this context, it was found that 54 percent of the sample corresponded to the subsidized regime and 46 percent, to the contributory regime, in a proportion that is maintained in almost all regions, except in Bogotá, where, for reasons derived from the high level of formality, this relationship is reversed: 68 percent in the contributory and 31 percent in the subsidized.
Users, when qualifying the services they receive, in a proportion of 34 percent considered them “excellent”, 39 percent “acceptable” and the remaining 27 percent perceived them as “bad”, which, according to health worker Pedro León Cifuentes, means that the health system does not crack before the users.
Another interesting aspect of the survey was the relationship of strengths and weaknesses based on general opinion. In this regard, it was found that the best rated strength was that the State pays for everyone’s health (83 percent)., followed by care received from medical personnel (76 percent). The worst qualified factor was the opportunity in assigning appointments (50 percent) which, at the same time, was the greatest weakness (49 percent) above the ease of accessing medical appointments (48 percent) and the authorization for examinations and procedures (44 percent) which, according to Cifuentes, are aspects that necessarily have to be analyzed in depth by policy makers.
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Regarding access, almost three quarters of affiliates (73 percent) responded that they can access the health system when required, in a proportion that is maintained in all regions, being the highest in the north of the country ( 86 percent) and in Bogota the lowest (65 percent). Although this result could be qualified as favorable, Cifuentes affirms that this situation must be reviewed in depth, because if this occurs in a city like Bogotá, which has the largest offer of services, this could worsen in other regions.
Even though affiliation portability (that all Colombians must receive care anywhere in the country) is an obligation of the systemIn addition to the fact that they must receive care close to their homes, the Andi survey shows that close to a fifth of affiliates (19 percent) do not receive care in their municipalities, a condition that rises to 36 percent in the rural area, that is, a component that, according to these findings, requires a deep look.
On the other hand, when Colombians access the health system, most of them (81 percent) take less than an hour to travel to the care sites; 11 percent state that they require one or two hours to travel; 3 percent need between two and three hours, and 4 percent responded that they require more than three hours for this process.
Here it is significant to observe that in urban areas, 5 percent state that they need more than three hours to get to the appointment places, while in rural areas the people who require this time is only 2 percent.
When asked if they know what an EPS is, seven out of ten respondents state that they are clear about the concept, while 30 percent do not know it in a proportion that is maintained in all regions. But this relationship is reversed when asking about the IPS (hospitals or Care Centers), where ignorance reaches 63 percent.
about this resultGermán Maldonado, a specialist in Hospital Administration, states that after 30 years it is disturbing that Colombians are not clear about the difference between these basic concepts. “This allows us to infer that in other terms and elements of the system there may also be confusion, which indicates that something is missing in the necessary pedagogy about the system, especially in times of reform.”
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The management of the contributory regime was qualified as “excellent” by more than half of the population (58 percent) and acceptable by 28 percent of those surveyed, which means that 86 percent consider it positive. This proportion is similar to the rating given by members of the subsidized regime (62 percent excellent and 23 percent acceptable).
On the same scale, 93 percent of affiliates perceive the professional care as satisfactory (78 percent excellent and 14 percent favorable). However, the opportunity in assigning appointments was the indicator with the lowest rating if it is taken into account that 70 percent of people rate this condition at 3 or more – on a scale of one to five.
In the same way, 77 percent of people rate it at 3 or higher – on a scale of one to five– The opportunity in the delivery of medicines and 97 percent stated that their health status improved with the care provided by the health system.
It goes without saying that just over half (53 percent) of those surveyed stated that the EPS has contacted them to follow up on cases in the last two years, something that in Cifuentes’ words should be reviewed if it is taken into account These entities are risk managers, so they must have a clear vision of the health status of all their affiliates.
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An important chapter of the survey is the potential for adjustments in the health system, in response to which 32 percent stated that it must change completely, 58 percent assured that it requires some adjustments, and only 9 out of 10 Colombians stated that the system it should stay the same.
In this regard, while in the southeastern region of the country 44 percent of the population assured that the system must change completely, in the central-eastern region only 28 percent expressed this possibility. In contrast, the north of the country was the territory that manifested the highest proportion of people who said that the system should not change at all (12 percent).
When asking what are the main adjustments that the system should have, 45 percent clamored for greater agility in attention; That the staff improve said care is requested by 40 percentand 16 percent would expect to increase the supply of hospitals and care centers.