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• woensdag 22 september 2021 14:42

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DH | SZV patients now referred to Panama instead of Colombia

~ Only urgent and emergency cases ~

SZV offices located at the Harbour View Building in Philipsburg.

PHILIPSBURG–Patients of Social and Health Insurances SZV who are in need of urgent treatment abroad are currently being referred to Panama instead of Colombia.

This was confirmed by SZV on Tuesday.

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The Daily Herald learnt of this change early this week when a family member of an SZV patient contacted this newspaper. This newspaper understands that the SZV patient was being sent to Panama for necessary treatment. Prior to this the patient was referred to Colombia. The sudden change in not only hospitals, but also the country of treatment, left the patient and family with many questions.

The newspaper reached out to SZV seeking clarity on this change, and why this decision was taken. The insurance company confirmed that it has indeed resorted to sending its patients to Panama when urgent care is deemed necessary. This started as far back as November 2020.

SZV said that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on various travel restrictions and logistical barriers for the referral of patients abroad for medical treatment. As a result of this, only urgent and emergency patient cases were evaluated for referrals abroad at this time by SZV. Elective procedures have not yet been included in this new change.

SZV further defined an urgent case as a medical treatment which is needed within seven days or the condition/illness of the patient will become life-threatening. An emergency case is when treatment is required within 24 hours.

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An SZV representative explained that Colombia has not been accepting patients due to COVID-19 restrictions, “and so we have made the switch to Panama.”

“The experience of the pandemic will bring more changes to our medical referral procedures.

“However, it is too soon to say what will become the new norm in this. We are also relying on regional and international governments and healthcare providers,” said the SZV representative.

An ad published in Monday’s edition of this newspaper by ProColombia, a government agency of the Executive Branch of the government of Colombia in charge of the commercial promotion of non-traditional exports, international tourism and foreign investment in Colombia, stated, “Colombia is ready to take care of international patients.” The ad notes that the country is ready to receive visitors, following strict security measures.

This newspaper understands that patients of other insurance companies have been sent abroad to Colombia in recent weeks for treatment.

Bron: Daily Herald

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