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February 26, 2020

PNL: Patients who refuse prevention programmes risk covering treatments’ costs

National Liberal Party (PNL) lawmakers have filed a draft law that stipulates the introduction of a national prevention programme in the public healthcare sector, financed by EUR 600 M annually, the Romanians who refuse to take part in it being at risk of subsequently bearing the costs of the treatments, cancer patients included.

According to the legislative proposal, signed by 128 MPs, most of them from PNL, including PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu, the authorities would draft a multiannual National Prevention Programme, financed with no less than 10 per cent of the sums earmarked for the public healthcare sector. The National Health Agency for Prevention would be established for this purpose, being placed under the authority of the Health Ministry and tasked with drafting and implementing the programme.

The legislative draft states that all Romanian citizen have the right to benefit from prevention programmes, measures and actions, regardless of whether they have health insurance or not. The beneficiaries of the programmes that actively contribute to the maintenance of their health can also benefit from financial incentives from the National Health Insurance Office, incentives that would be transferred to personal savings accounts. The persons that want to benefit from these financial incentives have to meet two conditions: to be in good health or, if needed, to prove that they respect the medical doctor’s recommendations, and to be actively engaged in sport activities by taking part in sport competitions.

In a statement for Mediafax, PNL MP Eugen Nicolaescu stated on Saturday that the draft law stipulates that citizens should freely receive these prevention services as a right and one of the responsibilities that the state has toward them, but he also wants “citizens to learn to be responsible for their own health.”

“According to the draft law, citizens can refuse in writing the prevention services, however prior to that they should be warned that if they will fall ill because they did not take part in prevention programmes they will cover the costs of treatments in part or in full. This will be the option of every citizen after he or she is informed and decides what is best. All of these aspects will be included in the implementation norms that will be publicly debated with as many citizens as possible, with patients’ associations and professional associations, and the most appropriate solutions for each case will be identified,” Nicolaescu stated.

Prevention programmes will be financed from the state budget, not from the contributions paid by those with health insurances, the PNL lawmaker pointed out, adding that 10 per cent of the total funds for public healthcare would mean over EUR 600 M per year.

In order for the law to be applied, teams of medical doctors and public healthcare professionals would devise implementation norms that would take into account the specificity of medical risks and pathologies in Romania, the logistics, the conditions registered in various parts of the country, so that all citizens would benefit from prevention services.
The draft has been signed by 128 lawmakers, most of them from PNL, 5 from PSD, 3 from UDMR, 9 from ethnic minorities and 2 independent MPs.

Gorghiu: No law is perfect

PNL Co-President Alina Gorghou stated on Sunday, referring to the draft law that would see Romanians who refuse to take part in the prevention programme losing some of the free healthcare services, that it has “eminently positive” provisions.
“No law is perfect. However, the health prevention law is a good law and all of its provisions are eminently positive for citizens. I am sorry it hasn’t been read. Or understood,” Gorghiu wrote on her Facebook page.

PNL’s Nicolaescu: Prevention disease costs less than treating it

The leader of PNL MPs Eugen Nicolaescu (photo), a former Health Minister, said that the law on prevention in healthcare refers strictly to the topic, pointing out that prevention disease costs less than treating it.

“Prevention means a better life, detecting risks on time, increase in life quality, means less money because it prevention costs less than treating diseases,” Nicolaescu told a Sunday’s press conference, stating that the application of this law requires application norms.

He indicated that 10pct of the total health funds should be allocated for the national prevention programme, which means 650 to 660 million euros.

Nicolaescu emphasized that the prevention services provided by the law are free and would be determined by special committees for each type of prevention.

He added that the associations of patients participated in drafting the bill.

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