by André Cintro
In a historic measure that will benefit more than 5 million people, the Gabriel Boric government announced, this Thursday (28), that Chile will have a free public health system for the entire population. The “Chilean SUS” – one of Boric’s campaign promises in the 2021 presidential elections – will officially be born on September 1.
The publicly funded National Health System is one of the advances included in the new Chilean Constitution, which will be submitted to a referendum on September 4th. Today, with Fonasa (Chile’s National Health Fund), with a neoliberal guideline, the population pays to enjoy any and all services that public hospitals provide. Only people over the age of 60 or those earning less than $420 a month are exempt from the charge.
“This is a historic advance in health care,” Boric said. “Many generations of Chileans have dreamed of what we are converting into a reality today, which is a free public health system for all Fonasa users. Health has to be a right.”
The measure was praised by the WHO (World Health Organization). “We congratulate the decision of the Government of Chile to cover all health expenses for 6 million Chileans. It’s a big step towards its commitment to #HealthForAll,” tweeted the institution’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Estimates by the Chilean government indicate that, with the guarantee of free public health, each family should save about US$ 300 a year. Currently, eight out of ten Chileans need to use the Fonasa co-payment system. Workers contribute 7% of their salary to the public or private network. “The axis of our government is that health is a worthy right – and never a business”, concluded Boric.
Text originally published in RED
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