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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senator introduce package of bills to stop the exodus of doctors

Sen. Keren Riquelme

By The Star Staff

New Progressive Party Sen. Keren Riquelme has introduced a package of bills to stop the exodus of doctors.

Among the measures is a bill that amends Act 107 of 2020, known as the ‘Municipal Code of Puerto Rico,’ to exempt replacements or surgical prostheses from paying the inventory tax. These prostheses are used in trauma surgeries, whether orthopedic or cardiothoracic.

She also introduced a resolution that would make possible the granting of a provisional number to all health providers while they establish their medical office.

On the other hand, another resolution seeks to investigate the process for granting credentials, licenses, and provider numbers, among others, to develop a faster and more efficient method for a term that does not exceed 90 calendar days.

“There is no doubt that the medical class of Puerto Rico is going through a difficult time. This is not new. For over two decades, we have faced a crisis of a shortage of these professionals. With this initial package of measures, discussed with the doctors themselves, we try to stop this exodus that does so much damage to our people,” Riquelme said.

She spoke at a recent conclave of doctors at the Capitol, including Health Secretary Carlos Mellado, as well as officials from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of Puerto Rico, led by the commissioner, Alexander Adams.

“Reducing the cost that our doctors incur is important; that is why we will be filing a bill that exempts all surgical prostheses from paying the inventory tax. That will not only reduce the costs of doing business for doctors; it will also affect the insured’s payments, “ highlighted the Senator.

“On the other hand, one of the biggest complaints from doctors is about the licensing process, which takes too long. The measure that we submit for consideration seeks to evaluate the possibility of reducing bureaucracy and establishing a fixed period of up to three months to grant all the necessary credentials to practice medicine in Puerto Rico,” said the legislator.

During the meeting, which lasted several hours, Riquelme also discussed the challenges facing the public health system in the face of the reduction in money allocations for the Medicare program.

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