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Caja Directors Reinstated, Resign

July 16, 2004

JUST days after a San José court reinstatedthem, members of the board ofdirectors of the Social Security System(Caja) – Costa Rica’s nationalized healthcaresystem – resigned, citing lack of publicsupport for their tenure.An interim board of directors was chosenlast month to temporarily take the placeof the Caja’s board of directors while prosecutorsinvestigate the Caja’s finances (TT,June 11). This week, they were named theinstitution’s permanent board of directors.Board member Horacio Solano, whowas appointed the Caja’s executive presidenton April 21, was among those whoresigned.During his weekly cabinet meeting,President Abel Pacheco named pediatricianAlberto Sáenz, who since last monthhad been serving as interim executivepresident of the Caja, as Solano’s permanentreplacement.Solano says he aims to return to his oldjob as the Caja’s medical director, and willcontinue to cooperate in any way possiblewith ongoing investigations of the Caja.The Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ)and a special Commission of Notables areinvestigating possible financial crimes andcorruption related to contracts and purchasesof medical equipment and pharmaceuticalsupplies, including those involving privatefirm Corporación Fischel S.A. (TT,April 23, May 14).President Abel Pacheco this weekdenied there is a crisis in the country’shealth-care system.“There is no danger, as some fear, thatthere will be problems,” Pacheco said. “Iguarantee you it will continue functioningnormally. I also guarantee the investigationwill continue until it reaches every corner.Rest assured, we have the capability toresolve this. This is not a crisis.”

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