The Constitutional Court of Colombia has ordered a public health agency to hand over a device to a person with a hearing impairment.
The Constitutional Court reversed the judgment of a court that rejected the plaintiff’s request to order Medimás EPS to provide her with a technological device to treat her hearing impairment.
Against this decision, he filed a protection case, considering that his basic rights to life, health, personal safety and human dignity had been violated, as the health authority deprived him of providing comprehensive and timely health services specified by the attending physician. The plaintiff pointed out that her attending physician, who was assigned to the resumed health institution, had recommended the implantation of a hearing device, which was refused.
In its ruling, the constitutional judiciary cites Article 49 of the Constitution, which states that health care is a public service responsible for the state, and must be provided in a timely, efficient and quality manner, while observing the principles of continuity, comprehensiveness and equality. It also invokes its jurisprudence, stating that the right to health has a “double connotation”, as it is presented, on the one hand, as a basic right, and on the other hand, as an “essential public service”.
Subsequently, the resolution states that the fundamental right to health includes “a direct mandate for the state to adopt public policies that ensure equal opportunities for access to diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and housing for all persons,” and therefore the competent health authority cannot refuse it. Take the necessary measures to ensure that this right is exercised without sufficient justification.
The ruling adds that the right to health is closely related to human dignity, because health benefits are necessary for the individual to “fully develop the various functions and natural activities of man, thus raising the level of opportunities for choice and implementation of a lifestyle.”
The court concludes by noting that the health entity did not provide valid reasons for its decision not to hand over the hearing aid. Therefore, it decided that its failure to perform “not only means a violation of the plaintiff’s right to health, but also threatens her dignified life” and ordered the EPS to take all necessary measures to deliver the hearing aid prescribed by the attending physician. .
See the full text of the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Colombia
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