Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
VELEZ-ARANGO, Alba L.; CECILIA REALPE, Delgado; GONZAGA-VALENCIA, Javier and CASTRO-CASTRO, Ana P.. Legal action as mechanisms of protection the right to health in Manizales, Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2007, vol.9, n.2, pp.297-307. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642007000200013.
Objective Characterising legal action taken for protecting health rights in Manizales during 2003 and 2004. Methods This was a descriptive kind of study, based on a sample of 375 legal actions filed in the city of Manizales' legal offices during 2003 and 2004. The study was carried out in two steps; the files kept in the legal offices were reviewed and semi-structured interviews were held with personnel from the General Social Health Security System (GSHSS), monitoring and control centres, the legal offices and the academic sector. Their concept regarding legal action and its subsequent impact on the health services was also consulted. Results 54.2% of the 375 legal actions were brought by women. Information regarding age was only registered in 53.8% of the files consulted; 81% of these corresponded to the population group aged older than 25 and 3% were presented by the population group less than 5 years of age. 74.7% of the people were in the regime making contributions and 14% in the subsidized regime. Most reasons for making a claim were made on at least two grounds, including complaints about integral treatment including drug prescriptions, exams, surgery, specialist appointments, carrying out procedures, etc. Conclusions Taking legal action has become the most effective tool for gaining access to health services in Manizales.
Keywords : Health; rights; legislation; health services.