Union to protest long Caja waiting lists

The union that represents workers in the nation’s health system said Monday that some 600,000 persons are on wait lists to see specialists, to undergo medical testing and procedures and to have operations.

The union, the Union Nacional de Empleados de la Caja y la Seguridad Social, plans a protest today at 1 p.m. in front of the Corte Suprema de Justicia.

The union said that women were disproportionally represented on the waiting list. The statement came to mark the International Day of the Woman.

The union said that 26,000 women were awaiting mammograms and that 105,000 person were awaiting surgery.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social runs the nation’s hospitals. There are periodic scandals mainly involving long waits for procedures. Sometimes these problems make news as in the case of a pregnant women scheduled 10 months in the future for an ultrasound.

However, there was nothing humorous by claims from  Sofía Bogantes, the head of cardiology at Hospital México. She said patients had died while on the waiting list for heart operations. Her allegations are under investigation, and she was transferred from her post. But Monday it was reported that she has been reinstated at Hospital México.

The union cited her case in its announcement.

Expats with legal residency are required now to affiliate with the Caja and pay monthly whether or not they us the services.

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