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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

“La Caja de Pandora” – documentary will explore “crisis” in Costa Rica’s public health system

January 15th, 2014 ( A feature-length documentary produced by the University of Costa Rica (UCR) will explore what it describes as the crisis facing Costa Rica’s public health system, known locally as CCSS or, more commonly, the “Caja.”


Production of the film, titled “La Caja de Pandora” (literally, Pandora’s Box) was led by Professor Pablo Ortega who has worked on other social and environmental documentaries, such as “Costa Rica, SA.”


The investigate documentary, produced by the UCR Media Laboratory for Investigative Documentaries, analyzes the depth, origins, and future effects of the “crisis” facing the CCSS.


“[The film] is an effort to provide the public a clear picture of the process of deterioration of one of the most successful models of [social security and public healthcare] in the world, and to show that this process [of deterioration] has continued, despite what authorities of the institution tell [the public],” Ortega told the El Pais newspaper.


“Through more than twenty interviews, extensive archival material and both a satirical and confrontational style, the documentary explains the virtues of [CCSS] as the optimal form of organization of health care for the people, in relation to other models based on the purchasing power of [the insured],” Ortega said.


The filmmakers have released a trailer of the soon-to-be-released film (above).


Updates regarding the film can be found on the film’s Facebook page at:

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  • disgusted

    For routine medical check ups Blood exams and medication works pretty good. Outside that getting appointments for EKG, Eye exams , stress test, ultra sound and such you can wait 6 months then find it cancelled when you go there rescheduled another 4 months. Happen too my family, friends and myself.
    Obama care going to see the same waste … Most all presidents, Diputados and those who make a good living here go to the private clinic and hospitals they know the system is broken just for us the poor working class.

  • mhogan

    Failure of a model for socialized medicine? That’s nothing new in the world — study history. Just give it time and the U.S. model will fail too (well, it’s failing even before it gets going–haha). When something is perceived as “free” it always gets abused. In Ticoland, I’ve never seen such a bunch of sickly, wimpy people that have to run to the “hospital” over every little ache and pain. Why not? For the masses, it’s next to free, if not.

  • jimbo97

    With a Socialist (sorry, “Progressive”) in the White House, they’ll soon be making a documentary of the failed government run healthcare system in the United States.

  • richard schlinder

    Will ISCR print a story on the Caja Salud situation in English for us Gringos??

    • Lav

      Why? Reading in Spanish, watching Spanish TV… Are all wonderful ways to learn the language. Why don’t YOU do the translating, it will be far more beneficial to you than having someone else do it for you.

  • Derryl Hermanutz

    When public health care systems were first conceived, medical care wasn’t very expensive because it couldn’t do much. If you had a heart attack, you died. If your arteries were clogged, you had a heart attack and died. If you had cancer, you died. Now, 75% or more of the average person’s lifetime use of health care is in their last 2 years of life, as they are artificially kept alive by high tech high cost medicine, while they are slowly but surely dying in hospitals. About 15 years ago the State of Oregon compiled a list of over 700 medical procedures, then listed them in order of the cost effectiveness of the procedures, and tried to implement a cutoff point where the costs vastly exceeded the benefits. There was moral outrage and the plan was squashed. People want high priced Hail Mary health care to prolong their lives, but nobody wants to pay for it. We all get old and our body goes for s___ and we suffer then die. Wasting health care resources, to let us believe the fantasy that medical science can “save” our beloved family member (or ourself) from the inevitable, is the reason public health care fails.

  • richard schlinder

    Thanks Lav.
    I do enjoy Teletica news at 7:00 each night. Your right, my Spanish needs improving.

  • richard schlinder

    I have a stone in my bladder.Sorry,but this is an example. My appointment to have it removed is in March 2015. Look out emergency room! Not so good.

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