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Monday, December 17 2018 @ 02:30 AM UTC

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A New Hospital Will Be Built in Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro

HealthcareA total of 20 companies participated in the homologation act for the design, construction and equipping of the new hospital to be built in Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro.

The Ministry of Health (MINSA) called out on national and international companies for the act. In this act the companies expressed their concerns about the conditions stipulated in the statement of objections for the construction of this structure.

It is likely that between the months of August or September of this year, they will proceed with the beginning of the foundation construction of this hospital, according to the Minister of Health, Javier Diaz, who also said the hospital must be finished in 8 months.

The cost of this building will be about $22 million, donated by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

This hospital will be of a second level of complexity, benefiting about 19,000 people living in this province, as well as a large part of the population living in the Ngobe-Bugle region.

The new facility will have external consultation, general medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry, family medicine, E.R. and hospitalization, among other health services.

The tender will be held on June 12 and the proposals from the different companies participating will be received on the same day. (Panama America)

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Hospital Complex Will Be Named After The President

HealthcareThe Board of Directors of the Social Security Fund (CSS) approved on Thursday, June 6, giving the name of the current President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, to the Hospital Center currently under construction in Chivo Chivo, Ancon.

A press release from the institution stated the members of the Directive Board welcomed the initiative of naming the new Hospital Center after the president, because he has directly supported this project, aimed for the well-being of Panamanians.

The new infrastructure was designed with the concept of buildings organized in a logical order, maintaining their independency and at the same time optimizing the services they will jointly provide.

This structure will provide all services to the patients who come to seek medical attention, and it will also have an excellent group of health professionals. This center will also provide opportunities for scientific, organizational and technological development.

The administration of President Ricardo Martinelli has been focused on promoting changes to hospital care for the 2.8 million people who use the Social Security Fund. (Panama America)

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Children's Hospital Calls For Blood Donations

HealthcareThe Director of the blood bank at the Children's Hospital, Arida Aleman, today urged all residents to go and donate blood.

"We have low donation numbers, we need to increase this number to have our reserves at an acceptable level, so we can provide proper care to patients," she said.

Aleman said the hospital relies on blood donations, and they usually have a few periods throughout the year when there are shortages. (Prensa)

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MINSA and CSS Propose To Amend The Law On The Appointment Of Foreign Physicians

HealthcareTo expedite the appointment of foreign health professionals and technicians in Panama, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Social Security Fund (CSS) have proposed substantial amendments to the Resolution No. 2 of April 15, 1985 authorizing their recruitment.

The measure aims to hire foreign doctors to cover inaccessible areas within the country not covered by local doctors; however, MINSA must prioritize national doctors in public tenders.

In the Resolution, the MINSA and the CSS propose to allow the continuity of the service offered and thus the non-interruption of health care.

The resolution only allows a non-extendable one-year contract. This new bill provides states that if the health professionals and technical staff turn out to be efficient, they may be rehired after they complete two (2) years of the contract, in the case there aren’t any available Panamanian health professionals and technical staff for the new public tender to occupy the position. This will be announced first by the General Directorate of Health and two months before the end of the contract.

Resolution No. 2 from 1985 requests the same documents from the health professionals and technical staff to participate in new public tenders. The new bill omits the presentation of the same documents, if the foreign health professional was previously hired and showed efficiency and good performance.

In the new bill, foreign physicians continue to receive the same base salary earned by a national physician with the same qualifications. If a national specialist has a base salary of $1,566.00, the foreign specialist will also receive the same salary.

Besides, extraordinary shifts performed due to the requirement of the service will be recognized. However, they do not receive other benefits received by other national physicians, such as the payment of service benefits like vacations, thirteenth month bonus and annual bonus.

For the last three years, not a single national doctor showed up for the public tenders organized by MINSA for national physicians; due to this, they now require to hire foreign physicians, according to the institution. (Panama America)

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Smoking Costs Panama Over $100 Million Annually

HealthcareThe Panama health system spends at least $100 million per year to address tobacco-related diseases, despite the decrease in tobacco consumption in the recent years, said the authorities on Friday.

"That's $100 million we spend (annually) for treating people due to their habit of smoking," said the Ministry of Health of Panama, Javier Diaz, at a press conference, during the World No Tobacco Day.

However, this figure is even higher if you take into account all the health institutions in the country and anticipatory pensions produced by cigarette-related diseases, as well as the loss of workforce due to the death of workers with these diseases.

"It really is more than $100 million," said Reina Roa, president of the National Commission on Smoking Studies from the Health Ministry.

According to official data, the consumption of tobacco has decreased in Panama during the last years, which has resulted in fewer deaths related to diseases caused by tobacco.

This decrease is due to restrictions on smoking in public and private places, banning its advertising and the increase in 32.5% in taxes on cigarettes, according to the authorities.

According to official studies, during the 90s, 25% of the population in Panama smoked. Now, only 9.3% does, which has led to a decline in 60% of cigarette importation during that period.

There was also a reduction in smoking-related deaths, going from 2,200 deaths in the year 2000, to 1,093 in 2011.

Still, seven out of the 10 main causes of death in Panama are related to tobacco, according to the authorities, who even accuse tobacco companies for facilitating the smuggling of this product.

"One out of three cigarettes that enter the legal market leaves illegally and this can only be done by the industry itself," said Roa, who also said all types of tobacco “are equally bad because they carry over 4 thousand toxic substances that can kill you." (Prensa)

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Kidney Failure Patients Report Bad Quality Medications

HealthcareThe National Association of Patients with Chronic Renal Failure and Family (ANPIRCFR) reported yesterday that the medicines provided by the Ministry of Health (MINSA) to the patients who have received a kidney transplant are of bad quality.

According to Alexander Pineda, president of this group, 36 noninsured patients who already had a transplant are being prescribed the medicine maxihealth, which puts these patients’ lives in danger.

The medicine, which has been being provided to the patients since last week, according to Pineda, causes damage to the new kidneys, according to information provided by the Transplant Association from Spain.

According to the ANPIRCFR’s president, this medicine does not guarantee the kidneys will survive, which is the reason why they will protect their right to live.

Pressure measures such as protests and street closures will take place if they are not prescribed with the medicine Cellet within the next few days, according to Pineda.

“The fact that we are not insured, does not justify them giving us bad quality medication,” he said.

Contrary to ANPIRCFR’s position, the president of the Foundation of Patients with Renal Failure Foundation, David Ocalagan, said MINSA would never prescribe medications if they are not good and would affect the patients.

SITUATION

After the complaint issued by the patients with kidney failure, the Health Minister, Javier Diaz, stated he does not understand the problem, because they have held several meetings where they explained this new medication does not affect their health in any way.

Reports from MINSA and the Social Security Fund indicate the health system receives over 2,800 patients with kidney failure. Out of this figure, 2,383 are insured. (Siglo)

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Operations To Avoid Dengue In Tocumen

HealthcareHealth Center Staff of Tocumen, conducted an inspection in which a treatment plant located in a mall had pupae and larvae of the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

The vector control inspectors proceeded to eliminate the mosquito breeding and recommended collaboration managers to keep the surroundings free of potential breeding sites.

The regional director of the Metropolitan area, Jorge Hassán, said in the area, there have been two confirmed dengue cases and 11 unconfirmed cases, so the community is asked to support the eliminination of the mosquito breeding sites and cleaning vacant lots.

For this Saturday, the cleansing operation will continue to get rid of moquito breeding sites in the village of Mañanita, spraying and cleaning junk in the district of Veracruz.

"From next Monday 27, actions will be intensified, from the border with San Miguelito (Linda Vista, Condado del Rey, Villa Caceres) to the area of ​​Villalobos, to contain adult mosquitos by spraying in early morning hours " said Hassán.

The director of the metropolitan region, urges the community to clean their houses and surroundings and support the actions and follow recommendations of health officials. (Critica)

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Hantavirus Alert In Veraguas

HealthcareA town in Veraguas is on alert, as the hantavirus is moved to another district of the province, while health authorities made ​​developments and necessary studies to control the spread of this virus to other people and regions.

The Health Ministry announced to date there have been 7 cases of hantavirus of which one died and six others were discharged and are in their residences.

Dr. Belén Hernández, director of the Health Region of Veraguas, said the case registration number seven was reported from the community of Lovaina in the district of Las Palmas, where a 22 year old tested positive for the virus. But received the necessary medical attention and was discharged.

Dr. Belén recommended the Veraguen people to take sanitary precautions to prevent hantavirus, to avoid rodents from reaching homes and contaminate the area, making it dangerious for humans.

Significantly, in the previous case, in the southern district of Soný there were reports, and this time the latter case moved to Las Palmas, a neighboring district to the Soný population. (Estrella)

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Rainy Season Increases By 70% The Infant Respiratory Problems

HealthcareThe rainy season, now that it has arrived to the country, brings with it an increase in cases of respiratory problems for children, being the most affected.

According to Milagros Blaisdel, told the head of emergency room Hospital of Pediatrics of the Social Security Fund, once the rain begins it has caused an increase in the amount of patients which, up until now, have been around 200 a day.

Blaisdel said the 70% of patients come with respiratory problems.

Within these, the cases listed colds, pharyngitis, otitis, while in the complicated area, there has been pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, asthma, among others.

Many patients who suffer asthma attacks go to the hospital and most are hospitalized.

She said the short instance hall has a capacity for 22 patients, but in the last few days this number has increased between 28-30 patients.

"The most critical months where there are an increase in cases like these are June and July." (Panama America)

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Health Code Is Being Revised Today

HealthcareAfter several failed attempts to check the Health Code, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) today presented a draft amending and including new articles, updating this document which has been in effect since 1947.

Articles related to new technologies, training of health personnel and traditional indigenous medicine, among other things, shall include, as health minister, Javier Díaz, who said the current Health Code is outdated.

According to Díaz, the citizenship, from yesterday until 12 July 2013, can send the proposed amendment to the website codigosanitario@minsa.gob.com. for analysis.

In this project, Orlando Marín, president of Conagreprotsa, said they expect the health authorities to take these changes into account. (Siglo)

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