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Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu said yesterday the Government Decision on the co-pay had been adopted. Patients will now pay from 5 to 10 RON upon discharge from hospital one time, regardless of the length of hospitalisation and GPs would receive 50 per cent for patients registered with their practice and 50 per cent for services, Mediafax informs. Nicolaescu noted that the framework agreement laying down the conditions for the provision of medical care in the public system in 2013 and 2014, adopted by the Government, also made a note of the categories of patients exempted from the co-pay. He said his hope was the ‘modest co-pay’ was understood for what it was – a way to deter fictitious hospitalisations which consume money for absolutely no medical reason, but only on mercantile considerations.
According to the draft law made public by the Ministry of Health (MS) in January, patients will be charged 5 to 10 RON upon hospital discharge for medical services provided in a continuous hospitalisation regime, genera practitioners will receive 70 per cent for the patients registered with their practice and 30 per cent for services and speciality outpatient service providers will get 50 per cent more. The co-pay will be charged for continuous hospitalisation services provided in wards or departments with beds in healthcare units under contract with the health insurance bodies. Doctors, on the other hand, disapprove of the introduction of the co-pay which – they claim – is not going to deal with the real issues of the system. ‘This is just a new tax which is not dealing with the issues healthcare has, one that will actually hinder patients. I am convinced that, in a country with a sick population, this co-pay will grow like Prince-Charming. The sums they count to raise in this way will not be enough for resolving health system shortcomings and will also impoverish patients’, Dr. Tudor Ciuhodaru said .
The bureaucratic apparatus of the health system needs reorganisation, Nicolaescu says
During the conference ‘Healthcare reform 2013-2014’ organised by Mediafax news agency and MS, Eugen Nicolaescu said the bureaucratic apparatus of the health system needed reorganising, as it contains ‘an army of people helping uncle Anthony kill dead mice, also demanding bribe and little gifts’, the whole system being very finance-intensive. He minister said the healthcare system worked ‘unhappily’, buried in bureaucracy and denounced health insurance bodies that uselessly want patients to produce a myriad of papers to demonstrate they are insured, although the law ‘states very clearly who is not insured’ in the system. He stressed the system ‘should be working for the citizen and not for self-sustenance’. ‘Maybe my assertions are very tough, unjust to some, but there is an army of people helping uncle Anthony kill dead mice, who also demands money, bribe and other gifts. You know all these things, this is the country we live in, but are we supposed to let it go on like this forever?’ Nicolaescu said.
On the other hand, Nicolaescu announced audits at all public hospitals in the country. He noted the audit would be conducted by the Ministry with attracted resources in its own hospitals and the other hospitals not subordinated to the Ministry of Health would do their own internal public audit up the hierarchy. The minister also announced the introduction of compulsory on-duty lines to hospitals. On a distinct note, Nicolaescu said he wanted to achieve shorter hospitalisation times and encouraged day-care and home care, as patients, according to him, can just as well be monitored at home, less expensively and in much more comfort.