The Government still hasn’t taken measures for free hospital treatments

They promised it immediately, but eight months after the new government was formed, the bill for repealing the hospital fee still hasn’t been introduced in the Parliament. Photo: Print screen

In its Programme, the Government promised that it will immediately begin the preparations for putting the free hospital treatment for all persons with health insurance in effect, because such bill had already been drafted, an information shared before the Government was formed. However, the bill hasn’t been introduced in the Parliament yet.

The Government will immediately begin the preparations for putting the free hospital treatment for all persons with health insurance in effect.

[Source: 2017-2020 Government work programme]

 

EXPLANATION:

Government’s promise that it “will immediately begin the preparations for putting the free hospital treatment for all persons with health insurance in effect” is part of its Programme, section Quality Healthcare System (page 31), but it hasn’t been fulfilled up to this time (23 January 2018).

This promise was also made by SDSM during the talks for formation of the new government, which was formed on 1 June 2017. Namely, SDSM’s health committee member, d-r Zlate Mehmedovic, on 20 May 2017 stated that a bill for amending the Law on Health Insurance, which will provide free hospital treatment for all persons with health insurance, had already been drafted.

This bill is among the first ones that will be propounded to the Parliament, because we intend to provide accessible hospital services for all citizens. With the amendments, we entirely repeal the hospital fee for all insured persons. This way, nobody will be left without hospital services just because they don’t have the money to pay, Kajgana reported.

However, such bill hasn’t been introduced in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia yet (date: 23 January 2018), which can be seen at Parliament’s official website in the section dedicated to received materials and materials in first and second reading for the period from 1 June 2017 (when the Government was formed) until 23 January 2018.

On 24 November 2017, according to Lokalno news website, the Premier Zoran Zaev announced that the next year (2018 our remark), they will make an effort to offer hospital treatment to the most vulnerable categories at least, so all citizens could use it by the end of the second half or at the beginning of 2019.

The Minister of health, Venko Filipche, made a similar statement on 28 December 2017 in his first press conference after he was appointed Minister on 25 December, when he announced that “they will work intensively to guarantee free hospital treatment of the vulnerable categories i.e. Roma users of social care”.

On its 50th session scheduled for 23 January 2018, the Government announced that it will review the proposed programme for providing funds for feeless hospital treatment for pensioners in the Republic of Macedonia, as well as other proposed programmes from the Ministry of Health pertaining to better organizing and improving the health services for the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.

In a statement for Truthmeter, the Ministry of Health explained that this proposed programme is an old project of theirs which is being continuously implemented and has nothing to do with Government’s announced project for providing free hospital treatment for all insured persons.

What has the Government announced as a project will be in effect for the socially vulnerable categories, as the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced, and afterwards for all health insured persons – says the Ministry of Health.

To sum up –  In its Programme, the Government promised that it will immediately begin the preparations for putting the free hospital treatment for all persons with health insurance in effect, because such bill had already been drafted, an information shared before the Government was formed. However, the bill hasn’t been introduced in the Parliament yet. Later on, the Prime Minister Zaev and the Minister of Health changed their statements by saying that the socially vulnerable categories will be the first provided with free hospital treatment in 2018, and everyone else by the end of 2019. Given that here we assess Government’s promise made in its programme and that nothing has heretofore been undertaken regarding this issue, we consider the aforementioned promise to be unfulfilled.

 

SOURCES:

Assessed by: Ana Anastasovska