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the minister of Public health, Daniel Riverasaid this Wednesday that only the program of High Cost Medications It entails eight billion pesos for its effective operation, an amount equal to the total amount assigned to the entity he presides over.

During the weekly conversation with the press, the doctor requested that a “different mechanism” that shortens response times to patients with catastrophic illnesses and that allows speeding up purchasing processes to guarantee supplies.

“It is good to clarify that the Public Health budget is 8 billion, but the High Cost budget is only 8 billion for 15,000 patients. Each patient that is added costs between half a million and a million pesos annually”Manuel RiveraMinister of Public Health

He assured that for the tranquility of the patients, by order of President Luis Abinader, the Government guarantees the supply of medicines to patients with catastrophic illnesses that belong to the program High price.

This is thanks to a joint action with the Social Security system, the Health Risk Insurers (ARS), the Program of Medicines Essential and Logistics Support Center (Promese/CAL) and the Superintendence of Health and Occupational Hazards (Sisalril).

In this new stage, the creation of the Administrative Committee of the Directorate of Access to High-Cost Medications (Damac)chaired by the Deputy Minister of Collective Health, Eladio Perezwill guarantee the transparency, streamlining, quality and efficiency of the purchase of medicines for catastrophic illnesses.

“The current situation of the Directorate is due to the significant increase in Patients waiting to be included since 2017and that in one way or another, and for reasons beyond the control of the Directorate, they were not part of it, ”said the minister.

This represented an increase of more than 10 thousand patients between the years 2021 and 2022, five thousand in the last journey, which translates into the hiring of more human resources and an annual investment of 8 billion pesos for the purchase of medicines.

From Promese/CAL, two purchase processes are currently being carried out. The first will be awarded next Wednesday June 29 for the reception of the 31 molecules contained in said process. The second will be awarded on July 27.

“In this process we will buy 71 molecules, of which, currently, in our warehouses of the Ministry of Public health we have 55 of these molecules”, added the official. The new ones medicines They are to increase volume and be able to supply new patients.

The idea is that, as they are medicines awarded, the same commercial houses can advance the purchase processes.

Patients exhaust ARS coverage

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Public Health Authorities. (EXTERNAL SOURCE)

According to Rivera, “the majority of patients who arrive at the Directorate of High price are already being treated and using coverage from their Health Risk Managers in the private and public sector… new ones do not arrive regularly, but rather they come after exhausting their coverage in the ARS, it is that they go directly to High price”.

The inclusion to High price It is done after a coverage review process by the ARS and the Directorate of Information and Defense of Social Security Affiliates (Dida) that takes approximately 15 days.

The current rate of applications is three patients a day.

The doctor said that the Ministry had already asked Sisalril increase ARS coverage to “better balance the load”.

Ask for changes in the mechanisms

Rivera commented that the implementation of the “zero bureaucracy” in all the services offered to citizens, and it is for this reason that the digitalization of all the procedures of High price.

“This will save us time, it will eliminate the 15-day wait and the review with the ARS and the Dida would be faster and will allow patients to make their request from different provinces of our country, without the need to travel to Santo Domingo or Santiago. ”, he added.

The request of the minister is that waiting time is reduced for this type of event, “as soon as possible, it is within 24 hours and not the process as if we were going to acquire equipment or real estate” and that a special chapter be opened in Law 340-06 on Purchases and Contracts, attached to the transparency.

“From the Ministry of Public health We wish to comply with processes attached to the provisions of the General Directorate of Public Procurement and Contracting, but we urgently request that a different and less extensive mechanism is created for purchases from the Ministry of Public healthespecially of the medicines of high pricejust as it happens when we have hurricanes, epidemic outbreaks and earthquakes”, he declared.

If the request is approved, the purchases would go to an approval table made up of civil society, the Dominican Medical College and the National Health Council.

Of the 8 billion pesos this year, there are still 3,400 million pending execution.

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