Minister of Health denies increase of health contributions


Reaction follows a secretary of state with the Ministry of Health who said yesterday that the
contribution for healthcare might increase by up to 14 per cent.

The officials of the Ministry of Health issue opposing statements regarding the increase of healthcare contributions. Initially, secretary of state with the Ministry of Health Dorel Sandesc said yesterday that there were talks about a possible increase in the contributions for healthcare by up to 14 per cent, saying there is no decision on the matter by now. “There was a discussion analyzing the health system. There is no target or measure set by the Government. There were global talks. We have no discussion or decision on inter-ministerial level. This is just a talk for the future and it should have taken place, in my opinion,” said the secretary of state during the press conference devoted to the World Hepatitis Day, organized by Mediafax partnering the Association of Patients with Hepatic Issues of Romania. “I have seen surveys in which people place health on the top position, as they agree to pay more. The discussion is necessary and we have talked to the IMF as well. This is a debate we want to have. My opinion is that we should go back to the old figures, as this contribution has a standard level within the EU, of 13.5 to 14 per cent,” he said. Inquired about the IMF position was during the talks, the secretary of state said: “They were not opposed to the idea, they even appreciated it, deeming it justified.”
Shortly after, the reaction from the Minister of Health ensued, who said the healthcare contributions will not increase this year or the next, and such a debate did not take place in the Government, saying that there were proposals about a possible increase back in 2010, but they did not go further. The Ministry of Health did not talk to the International Monetary Fund or other international organizations about a possible increase in the contributions to healthcare. No such debate took place in the Government of Romania. I know four years ago there were proposals about a possible increase but no further measures were made,” said Nicolae Banicioiu.
Reports about an increase in the health insurance contributions are false, as they have no relation to the Government’s fiscal-budgetary vision, the Prime Minister’s advisor Cristian Socol also told Agerpres. We plan to cut, not increase the social security contributions. The cut social security contributions, as well as the tax-exempt reinvested profit and extending the slashed VAT to other basic foodstuffs are the only plans for the future that the Government has in the fiscal sector. There are no plans to increase the health insurance contributions or other taxes that might damage the private businesses, the economic growth and the creation of new jobs’, Socol explained.
The first 50,000 shots against hepatitis B available in August
The Ministry of Health started to purchase in emergency mode 50,000 shots against hepatitis B to be available in August as the rest of 156,000 shots are to be purchased in a centralized mode, announced secretary of state Dorel Sandesc during the conference on hepatitis.
Ten percent of the 12 million people of Europe supposed to be infected with hepatitis C virus are estimated to be in Romania. According to the latest report released by the European Association of Patients with Liver Conditions, Romania is bottom in Europe regarding the access of hepatitis patients to treatment and specialized medical services.
During the same conference, president of the National Agency of Pharmaceutical Drugs Marius Savu announced that the evaluation of the new molecules will commence today and a potential list of covered pharma drugs might be presented by the end of August.

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