Red Cross to suspend ambulance service to Caja hospitals
The Costa Rican Red Cross announced on Friday that beginning Sept. 15, it will suspend patient transfer services at public hospitals and clinics in the northwestern province of Guanacaste and in the Northern and Southern Zones, because the government has fallen drastically behind on payments to the organization.
Costa Rica’s Social Security System, or Caja, owes the Red Cross ₡1.4 billion ($2.8 million), according to a press release from the Red Cross. According to Red Cross General Manager Ingrid Camacho, 911 emergency calls will be answered and ambulances will continue responding to emergency situations.
However, the Red Cross says it will stop transferring patients between public hospitals, clinics and private homes. The transport service is part of an agreement between the Caja and the Red Cross. This agreement establishes that payment for transfer services must be received in 30 days after service is rendered.
According to the Red Cross, the Caja has failed to make these payments in recent months, forcing the organization to cancel the debts with its own budgetary spending.
You may be interested
Give green in Costa Rica: holiday gifts that will live on all yearEd Bernhardt - December 16, 2017
A warm holiday greeting from the garden to all our readers. Another year has come to an end, and it’s…
Honduran opposition protesters take to the streetsNoe Leiva / AFP - December 15, 2017
Supporters of the leftist opposition in Honduras blocked streets in various cities around that country on Friday, despite political repression,…
Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, CanadaGustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017
My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…