San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica welcomes new health minister

Daisy Corrales, current coordinator of the Red Nacional de Cuido, a child care program launched during Chinchilla’s administration, was appointed Health Minister on Friday. Starting on Monday, Corrales will take the position that María Luisa Ávila held during the last five years.

Corrales, 58, has a master’s degree in health services administration. She is also a former employee of the Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja), which faces a major budget crisis.

“She is known in many sectors of our health system for her capacity of team work and leadership,” said President Laura Chinchilla Monday afternoon when she announced Corrales’ appointment in a press conference.

“I understand I am starting at a moment when the country is facing a complex crisis and also a point in time when the national development plan is well advanced,” Corrales told the press. “My strategy is to find consensus for improving all health services.”

The president also announced that Adolfo Ortiz, who previously worked in the Health Ministry’s administration as well as for the pharmaceutic company Pfizer Central America, was assigned as the ministry’s new vice-minister.

Ávila, the country’s most popular minister, resigned at the end of July after disagreeing with Chinchilla on how to resolve the Caja situation.

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