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August 12, 2022
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Minister against health insurance fee for low income pensioners

Health Minister Cseke Attila on Friday said he did not agree to a National Health Insurance Chamber (CNAS) proposal that pensioners with low incomes be required to pay health insurance contributions as well. Pensioners with incomes above RON 740 are required to pay this contribution as of January 1. According to minister Cseke, this is a new proof of health system’s “double command” where both the CNAS and the Health Ministry can be decision makers. “It is just impossible to have the ministry decide one matter and the CNAS act according to its own rules,” Cseke told a press meeting in Oradea, after a visit in the county’s hospital.


The minister also spoke about some of 2011’s priorities for the health system.


According to him, by the end of January the national health insurance card will start production, and by the beginning of 2012, every Romanian with health insurance will have to present this document upon any medical examination. The card will be used both by public healthcare patients and by the medical personnel. “Patients will be able to avoid queuing up every year for their insurance check and every time they need medical leaves or other medical services, medics will be able to check with the patient’s history and the authorities will be able to track that person’s medical service history, “ Cseke said.


The minister also hinted at the fact that a new wage scale project is in works, meant to evaluate doctors’ professional conduct, aiming at a “total change of philosophy in the medical system.”


The project was first mentioned by President Basescu who said in a TVR interview that medical personnel should be excluded from budget pay and “doctors should earn wages according to their professional performances and work quality.”


Minister Cseke said the project is viable and will allow a better functioning of the system. “In today’s health system, you can have two medical doctors with the same studies and the same schedule receiving the same money, which is not correct, as, obviously, their professional performances will never have the same quality,” Cseke said.


The minister also touched upon administration issues, urging local authorities throughout the country to grant at least 3 per cent of local budgets to health services. According to Cseke, health system’s de-centralization was made for local communities and not for authorities’ sake. “Administrators should allot at least a 3 per cent of their budgets to improving infrastructure, equipment, improving the medical act as a whole so that communities may feel something has changed in the system,” he concluded.


EMPLOYERS, UNIONS ACCUSE CSEKE OF ABUSE


Employers and trade unions accused the Health Ministry of intending to spend the money allocated to the CNAS as it pleases, without any control, according to Antena 3. The accusations came as the government recently decided not to allow employers’ organisations, trade unions and the civil society to be part of health insurance offices’ administration boards. Employers’ associations say the decision will lead to a lack of control over how tax-payers’ money is spent and deem it abusive.


Moreover, they say the National Health Insurance Chamber budget has already been approved and any change in budget allocations would equal embezzlement.

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