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Deadlock in health system

Family physicians decided to file requested documents to the Health Insurance Offices, but still refuse to sign contracts.

Representatives of the family physicians explained, yesterday, that the doctors had decided to file the documents without the contract application or containing an unsigned application, to avoid queues after the protests reach a conclusion. “At no point was there any mention of signing the contracts. The idea was to do our bit to facilitate the contracting process after the protests end, by filing the documents without the contract application or with the unsigned application, to avoid commotion at the insurance offices,” a press release, signed by the chair of the National Society for Family Medicine/General Practice (SNMF/MG), Rodica Tana­sescu, and the head of the National Federation of Family Medicine Employers, Doina Mihaila, informs. According to the latter, there is no question of family physicians renouncing a protest which has been going for days before a solution is reached. According to the release, “we abide by all requests announced after the meeting with the minister of Health and the head of the National Health Insurance Office (CNAS)”. “We reiterate what we stated, yesterday, namely, that as of next week, Tuesday, June 14, fees will be charged for all services offered to patients by family physicians,” the two professional bodies claim. During Wednesday’s meeting at the Ministry of Health, physicians called for the drafting of a strategy to support ambulatory medical care, presented the technical problems which encroach on the patients’ rights, including the impossibility of editing cards during consultations, as well as the severe problems resulting from the under-financing of practices, which endanger GPs’ capacity of maintaining their practices going. Family physicians also called on the head of CNAS “to retract the unfounded and slanderous allegations he made in reference to family physicians and to create a natural and civilised partnership with the physicians”.

At the end of talks at the Ministry of Health, the representatives of family physicians announced they could not agree to the new terms and, hence, would not sign the contract for 2011. The head of CNAS stated, on Wednesday, for Mediafax, that 35 pc of family physicians across the country had signed the contracts for services with the insurance offices they are affiliated to, whereas the number of signatories in the Capital amounted to 40 pc. According to the head of CNAS, family physicians request a considerable amount of money which the system cannot produce now. He argued that family physicians had been allotted RON 100 M under the norms of the frame-contract and they had requested another RON 200 M, on Wednesday.

The minister of Health, Cseke Attila, stated, yesterday, that an aspect which was not addressed in the matter of family physicians was the fact that some local authorities had raised rent for medical practices by up to 50-60 pc, adding that the highest raises had been reported in Bucharest. “It is unacceptable to raise rent from EUR 1 to EUR 50-60 per square metre,” the minister argued, in the conference titled “A Test of Healthcare Reform”, organized by Mediafax and Eureko. In response, the general mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, announced he would slice by half rents paid by family physicians who had rented spaces for practice in buildings owned by the City Hall.

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