Although the building for the Samara EBAIS’s pharmacy has been ready since April, the new technician has not arrived, preventing those served by the medical facility from getting medicines there. They are still forced to travel to Nicoya to do so.
The delay is due to a lack of funding and the human resources department at the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS – Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social) has not made a personnel assignment for the post, according to Fulvio Paniagua Acuña, the doctor in charge of the Samara EBAIS.
Paniagua indicated that since October of 2013, different local associations, including the Samara Progressive Association (APROSA – Asociación Progresista de Sámara), the Development Associations of Carrillo, Samara and Santo Domingo, and area ASADAs have contributed resources and labor.
“We have done all of the renovations that [CCSS] asked for… We have invested close to ₡5 million ($10,000) in purchasing computer equipment, doors, paint, an air conditioning unit [and] a refrigerator to store medicines and vaccinations,” explained Paniagua.
In addition, the community replaced the metal roof and ceiling of the building, as well as painting and installing electrical wiring. Paniagua said he is worried by the prolonged delay in assigning a manager for the pharmacy.
“First [the Nicoya Health Area] told us that the post was set to be filled in March, and then they told us it would be in April and now we’re in May, and still nothing,” stated Paniagua.
On that subject, Jose Manuel Sanchez, the manager of pharmacies for the Nicoya Health Area, confirmed Paniagua’s account and said that the problem stems from the fact that the new pharmacist still does not appear on the ledger. He also indicated that another explanation could be that the change in government has influenced the assignment of new personnel.
“They are rumors that are going around, but we cannot dismiss them completely,” explained Sanchez. He added, “We went to do an inspection towards the end of February because [the building] was almost ready to start in March.”
Sanchez said that he is optimistic that the new pharmacist will arrive in the coming months.
Currently in the canton of Nicoya, there are six pharmacies at EBAIS facilities in Belen–Maquenco, Corralillo, La Mansion, La Virgnia–Quiriman, Quebrada Honda, Nosara.