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December 8, 2022
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The cost of medical services will increase next year

By    Daniela Baragan

Starting next year, consultations by physicians will cost more, as the law that instates the co-payment in the Romanian health system was published by the ‘Official Gazette’ on November 30. The co-payment represents a sum that each contributor to the public system of health insurances must pay from his own pocket, additionally to the money paid by the national fund of health insurances. The sum cannot exceed the 12th part of the contributor’s annual net income. Furthermore, according to the law, “after reaching the maximum amount of co-payment per contributor per calendar year (RON 600),” medical services provided for this sum (consultations, analyses, hospital treatments) will be free. The co-payment may also be sustained from the voluntary health insurances of a complementary type.

Children under 18, pupils and students, patients with illnesses included in the national programmes established by the Health Ministry (MS), and the retirees whose only incomes are pensions under RON 740 a month will be exempted from co-payment. According to MS sources, a total 8,005,507 citizens will be exempted from the co-payment system. The Ministry estimates that the co-payment system will bring an additional sum of RON 378 M to the Health budget each year.

Under the new regulations, the document that proves the co-payment made for medical services is “the moderator health ticket.” At the moment when the draft law was adopted by the government, MS estimated that RON 5 should be paid for a regular consultation with the family physician, and RON 15 for a home visit by the family physician outside the 7-hour daily programme. Consultations by the specialist physician in the ambulatory will be charged RON 10, and consultations by a specialist physician, outside working hours, will be charged RON 20. Visits by ambulance physicians will cost RON 20, but only when made in the regime of house call. Enforcing the co-payment system is one of the government’s commitments through the loan agreement with the IMF, the European Commission and the World Bank. The government promised that no more than 40 pc of patients will be exempted from co-payment.

As bad news never comes singly, MS officials announced that, in the coming weeks, authorities will also finalise the draft law of the health system, which provides that health insurance contributors will benefit from a basic package of services that will be somehow limited, while the remainder of services will require an additional medical insurance. The framework-law of the health system is expected to be finalised by December 15-20, and the basic package of services and medicines will be regulated via a separate law.

“Today, the basic package is limitless. For the sums paid by any insurance beneficiary, we receive anything. This is unrealistic, this does not happen anywhere in the world,” said the Minister of Health, Ritli Ladislau, quoted by Mediafax.

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