January 29th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Costa Rican presidential hopeful, José María Villalta and his Frente Amplio party believe Costa Rica’s public health system (known locally as CCSS or Caja) should provide sex change operations, but healthcare officials are warning they do not have staff with experience in such operations and have other priorities.
María Eugenia Villalta, medical director at the CCSS, said that sex change surgeries would not be a priority for the institution.
“[Gender-reassignment surgery] is not an issue within the package of services the institution provides today. Right now there are priority diseases such as cardiovascular problems, cancer, and chronic diseases that need to be met,” she said, adding that CCSS does not have staff with experience in such surgeries.
Chapter 16 of the Government Plan of Frente Amplio states that sex change surgeries must be guaranteed in the national health system.
Meanwhile, Villalta expressed his concern over the strain and cost caused by cardiovascular disease on the public health system during a debate televised on Repretel on Monday.
Villalta spoke of the need to place a tax on fatty foods, “junk foods,” and soft drinks to offset the costs associated with cardiovascular care in the country.
Villalta did not mention how his government would fund the cost of sex change surgeries, should he be elected.