Country Profile – History – Health

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The Costa Rican Social Security fund (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social) is an autonomous governmental institution whose role is to protect Costa Ricans against all risks of sickness, maternity, disabilities, old age and anything else that the law may establish.

The institution was created by laws No. 17 of November 1941 and No. 17 of October 1943.

The fund administers the systems of treatment for illness, maternity, disability, old age and death for all Costa Ricas who are on a payroll. The following are some of the services rendered to the insured person or worker: general medical assistance, surgical services; hospital care, pharmacy and laboratory facilities, dentistry subsidies or cash disbursements, obstetric help and milk rations.
Those indirectly insured and those dependent of workers enjoy all the services except for cash disbursements.

The Social Security fund is run by a Board of Directors appointed by the Executive Power and made of seven members (all titular members, with no deputies): one Executive President who shall be a person of ample experience familiar with the institute’s field of activity, appointed directly the Cabinet, and six Directors who shall also have knowledge and experience in the field.

By virtue of Article 6 of the Articles of Association of the Social Security fund, the managers and assistant managers are appointed by the Board of Directors for terms of six years. The Secretary of the Board of Directors is named by the Board of Directors for an unspecified term. The Advisors and Executive Assistants to the Executive President are appointed by the latter, also for an unspecified period.

The Advisors and Executive Assistant to the Management are appointed by the management itself. The Management is also in charge of selecting Department Heads and Assistant Heads, Heads of Sections and Offices, and also the Directors of Hospitals, Clinics and Branch offices, as well as the Administrators of these entities.

The Social Security fund is financed by contributions received from the government, the employer and the worker. Deductions are made from the total ordinary salary, regardless of whether it is monthly, biweekly, fortnightly or weekly. The institution’s annual budget is approximately US$312,000,000.00.

Source: Who’s Who In Costa Rica 1979 1980.