Health system's liberalization schedule

Publish date: 29-04-2009
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Introducing private health insurance, defining the minimum medical service package covered by the state, and financing segments in the public health sector with private funds were the most important recommendations that business leaders in the health care field, gathered in the Private Government project initiated by Business Standard, made to Minister of Health Ion Bazac.

In reply, Bazac presented the steps which are to be taken for decentralizing and increasing the flexibility of the health care system. The Health Minister announced that he will introduce co-payment for public medical services as of 1 July. Part of the additional attracted funds will represent an investment resource for hospitals, while the remainder will go to medical service providers.

"Hospitals will have to fight to obtain financing. What this system lacks is competition. This is the only system where there is no competition," Bazac said.

The President of the National House for Health Insurance, Irinel Popescu, said that the co-payment system could overlap with the informal payment system, and actually put more pressure on tax payers. Popescu added that private health insurance is the financial resource which can raise health financing to eight percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is the European health budget average, from the present 3.8 percent of GDP. The official indicated that the co-payment system will filter patients, so that they will no longer go directly to hospitals.

"Private insurance would take us from four to eight percent of GDP. I see co-payment as a disciplinary mechanism, with hospitals less crowded," Popescu added.

Moreover, Bazac said that the minimum medical service package covered by the state is to become available on the market as of 1 September. "We are working on the general package. Before defining it we must begin quantifying costs. We started working on therapeutic guides and protocols for top 10 pathologies and to quantify costs, which are the basis for defining the minimum service package," said the Health Minister.

Business Standard

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