SAN JUAN – The candidate for mayor of San Juan under the New Progressive Party (PNP), Miguel Romero, presented on Tuesday, his health platform based on the strengthening of medical services offered to San Juan through the Municipal Hospital, the Centers of Health (CDTs), the Clinic for Trans people and the programs directed to the population with HIV; among others. Through his proposal, Romero seeks to achieve health equity and raise the levels of health awareness to improve health and well-being.
“The health services model that operates in Puerto Rico presents the Capital City with greater challenges than those that affect the other municipalities in Puerto Rico. However, the integration of leaders, key constituents, as well as entities of the health industry and the community will be essential to take measures and design policies that improve health, ”explained the candidate for the municipal seat in written communication.
He highlighted that the goals of his health platform are aligned with the health promotion and disease prevention objectives, “Healthy People 2030”, of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. “The municipality is obliged to strengthen its service structure while considering the challenge of limiting doctors and health professionals; the growing number of patients with the greatest need who prefer to receive medical care in the facilities closest to their surroundings; and the need to identify and attract external funds that make the development and quality of health services for the residents of San Juan viable, ”Romero added.
He presented a series of initiatives to be implemented by the Municipality to strengthen and expand the residency programs of the Municipal Hospital of San Juan, in alliance with the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, so that the municipality has greater services of health and at the same time with a more efficient fiscal operation that allows to bring more economic resources to the Municipality which in turn allows services and treatments to be offered to people who lack access to a health plan; while concentrating resources on community prevention.
“If we enhance our capacity for our Hospital to be a Teaching Medical Center, medical services are developed under the highest standards, in addition, we increase the medical residences necessary for the development of health services and we increase the number of doctors who can provide services in health centers, “said the legislator.
The also president of the PNP in San Juan bet on alliances with health providers for specialized services. “With the network of specialized medical services, the creation of alliances with private hospitals with specialties will be promoted to provide health services to San Juan people with great need for care and little access to these services. Meanwhile, the availability of family clinics in San Juan will be increased through the integration of municipal clinics and different health providers (public, private and non-profit). ” Romero stated.
It also indicated that working in alliances can also be used to strengthen the management of emergency rooms and diagnosis and treatment centers (CDT), through service agreements; without selling or disposing of medical facilities. He also proposed that, in the health facilities of the municipalities, as well as with their providers, there will also be a program of access to prescription drugs with significant discounts for patients of the health system, through the provisions of section 340.B of the federal Public Health Law.
Likewise, the candidate promotes making San Juan a leader and coordinator of technological integration, through a cooperative model among providers to develop a health exchange platform integrated into the Puerto Rico Health Information Network (PRHIN, for its acronym in English). Through this initiative, the mayoral candidate will seek economic integration and functionality in the capital’s health system, in addition to access to medicines for all who use the system, in order to maximize and audit access to federal funds; and that each indigent medical patient has direct access to their medical information, laboratories and studies, in order to guarantee directed health care.
Romero has also proposed the establishment of a registry of the population with special medical needs that require individual attention during an emergency. Through a census of this population, it will be possible to coordinate the location of residents whose medical conditions exceed the capacities of the regular shelter, but who are not serious enough to require hospitalization.
Meanwhile, a medical control center will be developed to handle emergencies. The center will provide support to emergency medical technical personnel to classify the emergency and establish an effective response level in relation to the severity of the patient’s condition. The protocol will allow directing the patient to the most appropriate and closest medical facility according to their condition.
Miguel Romero will also establish strategic alliances for the development of a comprehensive center that addresses addiction and abuse of controlled substances. A range of services will be implemented that includes detoxification and integrated treatment for people over 18 who are active substance users or for people affected by the addiction of a family member.
To treat patients with chronic conditions – such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s – and for those who require rehabilitative medicine, the Antillas Clinic will be rehabilitated and reopened through a municipal alliance.
As for the communities located in the south of San Juan, alliances will be promoted to establish a community health center that meets primary health needs. Participating entities must be certified under Section 330 of the federal Public Health Law.
The legislator also specified his commitment to improve the performance and scope of the San Juan VIDA HIV clinic that serves this population, whether they are residents of San Juan or not, and to replicate the knowledge of these services in the health centers located in the capital.
“Our goal is to establish a collaborative agreement with these centers and the hospitals, so that the clinic staff provide training and cultural competence workshops for their staff,” explained Romero.
Likewise, the staff of the San Juan VIDA Clinic and the TRANS Clinic —through a collaborative agreement with the Municipal Hospital of San Juan— will offer training to the hospital staff on sexual diversity and cultural competence, in order to improve their knowledge about care health care for trans people.
These trainings will allow the staff of the Municipal Hospital of San Juan to be much more qualified when it comes to serving populations with diverse sexualities who seek to receive health services in their facilities.
Compliance protocols will also be reviewed as required by Administrative Order 398 of the Department of Health, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, as well as the protocols required by the new Normative Letter 203-2019 of the Health Insurance Administration (ASES).
“We will support the efforts of the state government and we will carry out efforts at the municipal level so that our trans population can have access to hormonal medical treatments for their physical and emotional health,” Romero said.