The Argentine Government announced on Friday an increase of 13% for minimum pensions and Universal Child Allowance (AUH), and will offer a list of 170 free medications for retirees, which will be available from “the first days of March” .
The head of the National Social Security Administration (ANSES), Alejandro Vanoli, explained that this 13% is composed of an “increase of a fixed amount of 1,500 pesos (about 24 dollars)” and an additional “2.3% “, and that will also apply to other family allowances.
Together with Vanoli, President Alberto Fernández and the Executive Director of PAMI (National Institute of Social Services for Retired and Pensioners), Luana Volnovich, appeared in a press conference, who reported the creation of a list of 170 free medicines for the 5 million retired members of the public body.
According to government data, in the last four years “the price of medicines reached 457% in terms of the Retail Value and 297% in the price of those consumed by PAMI members.”
Volnovich explained that the program has an investment of 30,000 million pesos (about 467 million dollars) and explained that it was elaborated “not with a budgetary logic, but with the logic of health care, a sanitary logic”.
The remedies were selected “based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Medical Confederation of the Argentine Republic”, in relation to the most common pathologies presented by retirees according to PAMI records.
“We want to generate appropriate treatments for certain pathologies, so we have to encourage, guide and recommend what those treatments are, we don’t want to poison our population, over-medicate,” said Volnovich.
At his side, Fernández recalled that since “the first day” of his Government his purpose was “to improve the situation of those who were worse”, and that means “addressing the situation of retirees.”
“Resolving the situation of those who are worse will be better all Argentines,” he added.
Fernández, who shortly before opened the leftovers at a university in the province of Buenos Aires, said that these measures are based “in large part” on the resources obtained by the tax for an Inclusive and Solidarity Argentina (PAIS), which was approved in December and taxes with 30% the purchases made abroad and the acquisition of foreign currency.
This tax was approved as part of a “megaley” that ordered the creation of other taxes and the temporary suspension of the retirement adjustment to reformulate the pension system, which generated controversy among the opposition.
“When we took out the solidarity emergency law, what they were telling us was that we had frozen the retirements. And you realize that our retirees have received in their immense majority an increase substantially greater than what would have corresponded to them if we had applied the formula that we repealed, ”Fernandez concluded.