Dr. Julio Manzur picked as replacementMonday, June 29, 2009
Health Minister resigns
Argentina Health Minster Graciela Ocaña has resigned and has already left her office at the Ministery after president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accepted the minister's resignation.
Lieutenant Governor of Tucumán Doctor Juan Manzur will be appointed as the new Health Minister.
Ocaña had many discrepancies with the Kirchnerites starting back in May when the minister dumped a testimonial candidacy for the mid-term elections, questioning its legality. Things kept tightening up lately on how to fight the spread of H1N1 influenza, which has already taken the lives of 29 people.
Ocaña started to confirm the rumors about her leaving last week when Buenos Aires province Health Minister Claudio Zin showed certain resistance to support the extreme measures Ocaña advised to take to fight the swine flu, such as closing shopping malls, cinema theatres, and the most controversial one: the annulment of the June 28 elections.
Ocaña had taken office in 2007 after leaving the centre-left ARI party and its leader Elisa Carrió. Since day one, Ocaña faced bumps in the road mostly coming from the unions and the head of the CGT labour Confederation Hugo Moyano.
Ocaña had recently presented a report to President Cristina Fernéndez de Kirchner in which she concluded that unions owe the government ARG$220 million due to subsidies given to fight severe diseases (such as AIDS), but they never presented any of the correspondent receipts for the spending of those funds. This raised the fury on Moyano's lines who publicly claimed that the millionaire health funds controlled by the health ministery should be managed by the CGT.