Health Fair Event/Protest Still Scheduled for October 14
By Richard Gutiérrez
During a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Carlos Díaz Vélez, president of the Puerto Rico College of Physicians and Surgeons, confirmed that the event scheduled for Saturday, October 14th, is proceeding as planned. This event will serve as a peaceful protest against health insurance providers while offering a variety of health services to the public. Additionally, it is intended to be a family-friendly occasion for everyone to enjoy.
“Everyone is invited to this event except health insurance providers. We call upon the government to rein in these uncontrollable entities,” Díaz Vélez said.
While it may not sound like a typical protest, the association considers it a new form of peaceful protest. “While this event may not resemble an emergency room, we are offering a wide range of services and enjoyable activities for people. We want this event to bring the people of Puerto Rico together, as our slogan suggests: ‘We are all patients.’ We want this to be seen as a positive initiative. We are not here to incite arguments but to promote positivity,” Diaz Vélez emphasized.
One of the many services provided at the event will be dental health services. The president of the Puerto Rico Dental Association, Raúl Ortíz, also spoke at the press conference, saying, “We have decided to join these efforts because we believe it’s a way to provide our services while raising awareness about the importance of healthcare providers. In the dental field, we will have dental chairs, colleagues, dental assistants, and even screenings for mouth lesions to potentially detect mouth cancer at an early stage.”
Diaz Vélez emphasized that this is not a political event, stating, “We are indifferent to political parties. We invite the governor and Jennifer Gonzalez; regardless of your political affiliation or religion, we are all patients in one way or another.”
The president of the association reiterated that the event will have support from approximately 12 different municipalities, some even providing transportation to residents from distant areas like Mayaguez. Data will be collected throughout the event, as there will be blood donations and various health tests, to raise awareness of the state of public health on the island.
“We sincerely hope that political parties do not receive funding from health insurance companies because, if they do, the system will remain unchanged. We firmly reject political investments in this matter,” Diaz Vélez concluded.