San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Caja assigns new interim general managers

The Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja) on Thursday announced the decision to dismiss five of its six general managers. The board of directors named five Caja employees to fill the positions on an interim basis.

Caja Executive President Ileana Balmaceda said the institution will hire an external company to launch a public recruiting process to permanently fill the positions. The new permanent managers will be named in four months.

This is the first time in the Caja’s 70-year existence that the institution will launch an external process to fill the general managers’ positions. Last month, responding to months of criticism over the institution’s management, the board of directors voted to request the resignations of all six of the Caja’s top department managers.

The six officials submitted their resignations, but Infrastructure and Technology Manager Gabriela Murillo was asked to stay in her position. Administrative Manager José Alberto Acuña, Medical Director Rosa Climent, Financial Director Manuel Ugarte, Logistics Manager Ubaldo Carrillo and Pension Fund Manager Miguel Pacheco are all leaving their positions and will go back to their previous positions within the institution.

The new interim managers are Zeirith Rojas, medical director; José Luis Quesada, pension fund manager; Gustavo Picado, administrative manager; Dinorah Garro, logistics manager; and Iván Guardia, financial manager.

The decision comes after a commission of experts assigned by the Caja board of directors handed in a report with 81 recommendations to help the institution deal with its financial crisis.

Balmaceda said the logistics manager will take on the responsibility of buying urgent drugs for the system, as well as storing the drugs. Medical management will have to tackle excessive patient waiting times due to wait lists, and the pension fund manager’s first task will be to determine whether keeping the current pension system is sustainable.

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