The multilateral entity held a meeting with representatives of these institutions from 17 governments.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) held a meeting with directors and deputy directors of 38 general hospitals from 17 departments in the country.
The purpose of the meeting was to analyze strategies to improve primary health care capabilities for migrants, refugees or people in situations where they need to change residence frequently.
These conditions represent major obstacles to accessing health services, because sometimes these citizens do not belong to the system, or do not have documents that allow identifying them, or do not have a medical history to verify the illnesses they suffer from or the medicines they are taking. who need.
Among other issues, during the meeting, topics related to primary care were addressed, such as family health, social determinants that affect the health conditions of the population, adequate use of technologies and analysis of information.
Through a press release, IOM said that during the meeting it shared some of its previous programs with hospital managers about the health work they need to do to improve the quality of care for migrants, refugees and populations on the move.
To cite two examples, the multilateral organization referred to the “experience of outpatient care for refugees and migrants carried out in settlements in the municipality of Maicao, La Guajira; and the comprehensive care model for pregnant women implemented at the General Hospital of Medellín in Antioquia.
IOM also set up the Mobile Dental Unit at the State Hospital of the Social Enterprise (ESE) San José de Maicao, La Guajira, which also carried out important missions in the field of primary health care.
In fact, the multilateral body indicated that through this unit it provided services to vulnerable populations in general medicine, dentistry, prenatal control, sexual and reproductive health and vaccination.
In addition, they shared their experience with the electronic medical record, a methodology that is already beginning to be implemented in Colombia, but which is very difficult when applied to populations in constant movement, such as migrants and refugees.
According to the International Organization for Migration, some digital tools have already been used in Colombia to improve and facilitate care for patients who do not have a fixed residence and have vulnerable conditions. This organization said that programs of this type were carried out in municipalities such as Nicocli, in Uraba, Antioquia.
In its statement, the multilateral entity warned that “between 2018 and 2022, as a result of the coordinated action of 42 public hospitals and the International Organization for Migration, 700,000 people received health services in 18 departments in Colombia”.
Also present at the meeting was Olga Lucia Zuluaga, director of the Colombian Association of State Social Institutions and Public Hospitals (Acesi), which has been working with the national government and the International Organization for Migration to find alternatives that respond to the needs of migrants and refugees. . .
3.5 trillion pesos are ready for public hospitals
As part of the debate on health reform, which the National Government took to the Congress of the Republic on the 13th of February, it was learned that public hospitals will receive additional help to settle the outstanding debts of other entities with the same.
“It has already been decided with the finance minister and the president that 3.5 trillion pesos of the public hospital debt will be recognized for future periods,” said Health Minister Carolina Corcho during a public hearing.
As he pointed out, it is a budget that still needs congressional approval. The idea is that, with this money, public hospitals can improve their infrastructure and give their workers fair and timely wages.
Despite criticism of its constant confrontations with other actors in the health system, the current government has indicated that the network of public hospitals is at the center of its agenda, and in fact, President Gustavo Petro has ordered that no public hospital be liquidated during this period. his tenure, regardless of the financial difficulties he is going through.