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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 02:55 PM EDT

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Ministry of Health Confirms Third Death From Dengue

HealthcareThe Minister of Health, Javier Diaz confirmed that the eight year old child who came to the Emergency Room of the San Isidro Health Center on 27 December 2013 died to due dengue, and not from self-medication as had been reported before.

With this death now three people have died from dengue.

On December 30, 2013 the Ministry of Health declared there was a "nationwide dengue epidemic" and at the time a total of 3,124 cases had been detected.

For several weeks there was an intense fumigation operation to prevent the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue.

The Gorgas Memorial Institute is preparing the final details for the release his January of a transgenic mosquito that will help reduce the spread of the Aedes aegypti.

It is estimated that in the coming weeks they will be releasing about 15,000 transgenic mosquitoes in the district of Arraiján. (Estrella)

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Nurses Are Probably Going On Strike Again

HealthcareThe continuing effects of the medical strike are still alive within the nurses sector, according to the President of the National Association of Nurses, Elidia Espinoza.

According to the leader, Elidia Espinoza, the nurses in Renacimiento and Río Sereno in Chiriqui have received discounts in their paychecks, despite of the final agreement that stated this measure was going to be suspended.

"They must return this money to the nurses, because they are violating current agreements,” said Espinoza.

Espinoza did not rule out the possibility of another strike organized by the nurses. (Telemetro)

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Scientific Discovery In Coiba

HealthcareScientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) found an active substance against the visceral leishmaniasis in a mollusk known as sea hare.

The sea hares were collected from marshlands from the Pacific Ocean in the Isla de Coiba by the scientists from the Smithsonian, Alicia Ibáñez and Alicia Hermosillo, from the University of Guadalajara.

This is one of the over 45 compounds with potential farmaceutical activity reported by the institute since the National Park of Coiba was included in the list of World Heritage Sites.

According to the scientist of the Smithsonian Stanley Heckadon, Coiba has a large biodiversity regarding its flora and fauna. For example, there are 224 species of vertebrates in the reserve in the groups of land mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. But the largest biodiversity of the park is in the water.

There are over 700 hectares of reefs and coral in the sea, with a wide variety of fish, crustaceans and mollusks, according to information from the National Environment Authority (ANAM).

Domingo Moreno, leader of the National Negotiating Medical Committee, said this represents a big step in medicine because every year in Panama several people are affected by this disease. Only in Panama there are over 500 cases per year. (Prensa)

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Medical Unions Will Go Back To Work But Will Remain Vigilant

HealthcareDomingo Moreno, leader of the National Medical Negotiating Committee (Comenenal), said all the health officials who were on strike will go back to work.

He also said he was concerned because in the Social Security Fund (CSS), there are still privatization elements, because the administration of primary care is being managed by the private companies.

"Also, everything related to hemodialysis is managed by private entities, which is why we will remain vigilant and make sure private companies are doing their job and are not a complete fiasco,” said Moreno. (Panama America)

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Nursing Technicians Have Finalized Their Strike

HealthcareOn Thursday night, nursing technicians decided to put an end to the strike they started weeks ago to request the work regularization of more than 300 colleagues who were not permanent; the compliance of the salary scale and supporting the strike started by the medical unions after the approval of Law 69, which allows the hiring of foreign staff.

“Today we have put an end to our strike against the authorities, we are satisfied because we fought for the entire country regarding Law 69 and we also managed to bring justice to these nursing technicians who were struggling with their contract,” said the spokesman Carlos Peralta.

Peralta said they will start informing the different unions about their decision “so they can put an end to their strike throughout all health facilities. We are asking them to go back to work.” (Telemetro)

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Health Unions And The Authorities Are Going Over The Proposals

HealthcareGathered at the Panama’s Archdiocese, representatives of the medical unions and the authorities were discussing the proposal presented by the Health professionals who reject Law 69, which authorizes and regulates the hiring of foreign professionals and technicians.

There are 28 points being discussed in the negotiating table, without a final agreement so far.

Among the authorities present at the place is the deputy director of the Social Security Fund (CSS), Marlon De Souza, the advisor of the Health Ministry (Minsa), Félix Bonilla and the president of the Health Committee of the National Assembly, deputy Pablo Vargas.

On the other hand, the medical unions are represented by the president of the National Negotiating Medical Committee (Comenenal), Domingo Moreno, mediated by father Eusebio Muñoz.

The strike carried out by the health unions ongoing for a month now, has been the cause of thousands of missed surgeries and medical appointments across the country.

The Directive Board of the Social Security Fund (CSS), has requested the union leaders and the authorities of the health sector, to strengthen the dialogue and establish the necessary mechanisms to normalize the services. At the same time, they have committed to ensure the Non Privatization of the services provided by this institution. (Panama America)

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Patients Were Evacuated From Hospital After Receiving A Bomb Threat

HealthcareSeveral patients from the hospital center of the Social Security Fund (CSS) in Transístmica were evacuated on Monday morning after a bomb threat in the center.

The patients were evacuated under the rain, which caused discomfort among the relatives. The general director of the CSS, Guillermo Saéz-Llorens, arrived at the place to find out what was going on.

Saéz-Llorens, who was booed upon arrival, said this event went very low. “They crossed the line. This is too much, because threatening a hospital is playing with the life of many Panamanians,” said the official, who did not rule out the possibility of this threat being made by union leaders.

After this situation, the director of the CSS said he will file a criminal complaint before the Attorney General, holding everyone involved accountable for the event.

“We will give them everything we’ve got because this is completely wrong,” said Saéz-Llorens. (Prensa)

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Health Unions Ignored The Invitation To Dialogue From The Health Ministry And The Deputies

HealthcareThe Health Minister, Javier Díaz and the deputies of the Health and Social Development Committee of the National Assembly analyzed the Project No. 54, modifying Law 69, allowing hiring foreign specialist doctors, without the representatives of the unions of this area who are on their 21st day of strike.

The unions have rejected once again the opportunity of sitting down to talk with the health authorities to try and seek the mechanisms to finalize the medical strike.

Díaz said the attitude of the different health unions was an “intransigent position”, because they have not attended any of the calls made by the Health Ministry to resolve the situation, and instead they want Law 69 to be repealed first before they sit down and talk.

The official encouraged the different unions and associations led by the National Medical Negotiating Committee to stop with their attitude because “they are making the Panamanian people suffer,” said Díaz.

On the other hand, Pablo Vargas, president of the National Assembly Committee said they are still postponing the first hearing of the amendments they plan to make on Law 69.

"We are waiting for the unions and the Church to finalize this strike. We will be in recess until they decide to come,” said Vargas.

The draft bill 54 talks about four amendments that according to Javier Díaz are based on the requests made by the different health sectors. They exclude Panama and Colon and the urban zones of Panama East and West from the list of work areas for the staff coming from abroad. They also added bonuses and travel expenses between 50% and 100% and the financing of scholarships for the formation of specialist Panamanians abroad. (Telemetro)

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30,000 Appointments And 2,000 Have Been Missed Due To The Strike

HealthcareThe Minister of Health, Javier Díaz, confirmed a total of 30,000 appointments and 2,000 surgeries have been missed during the medical strike.

Díaz said the doors to the ministry are open to dialogue with the unions who are currently on strike and is affecting the patients and insured who are not receiving health care.

He warned they will not be paying salaries to the doctors and other health professionals who are protesting and causing severe damage to the patients and insured. He said “if you don’t work you will not get paid.”

The Health Minister said the issues that the doctors and other health unions are talking about will be included in the law 60, which allows the hiring of foreign specialist doctors.

"We have said this several times: we are not privatizing health services and the foreign doctors are going to be working in hard-to-reach areas, and we are also demanding strict requirements from them and supervision for their hiring,” said Díaz.

Díaz said the health unions have failed to prove with facts that some of the articles in the law are including the privatization of health services.

The official repeated he is open to dialogue through the mediation of the Catholic Church to reach an agreement. (Critica)

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The Medicine School Dean Requested The Suspension Of The Medical Strike And Law 69

HealthcareThe dean of the Medicine School of the University of Panama, Enrique Mendoza, suggested both the medical unions and the government authorities to make decisions towards the benefit of the patients who are being affected by the medical strike.

Mendoza asked the Executive Branch to suspend Law 69 which authorizes the hiring of specialist physicians, but also asked the medical unions to put an end to their strike.

The Dean suggested both health professionals and the authorities to adopt these two measures at the same time to create an appropriate environment for dialogue that could be mediated by the Ecumenical Committee.

Mendoza recognized there is a crisis in the health system due to the lack of specialist doctors; however, he said the patients can’t be inconvenienced anymore. (TVN)

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