Social Security health care program ordered to cut spending

May 8, 2015

In the wake of the elimination of the government’s 40% contribution to the Social Security (IESS) program, the IESS board of directors has order restrictions on purchases, travel and hiring.

Cuenca's IESS hospital

Cuenca’s IESS hospital

Especially hard-hit is the IESS health care system.

The board ordered a hiring freeze, including consultants, restrictions on office supplies, and a ban on office renovation, including painting. Overseas travel to medical conferences has also been banned.

It is also ordering supervisors to reduce use of utilities, including electricity and telephones.

The IESS board has ordered a top to bottom review of costs and says there are many cases of waste within the system. Critics of the 40% government funding cut claim the system is in trouble and that the austerity measures are proof.

IESS says the cutbacks will not affect health care services to clients but is examining the impact of patients with chronic illnesses and the addition of children of IESS members to the system.