HCLU's position on the Altering of the Health Care Statute

HCLU examined statute-proposal number: T/1093 which is part of the health care reform plan submitted to Parliament by the Ministry of Health and found it rather disturbing on several points.

The proposal practically eliminates the right for one to choose his/her own physician and would become a privilege for wealthier patients only. It would also introduce discriminative and unjust measures jeopardizing prompt medical services by obliging patients to pay a surplus in order to receive emergency or on call medical service, irrespective of the gravity and urgency of the health issue in question. It also states that the patient may be charged up to as much as the entire cost of procedures provided at the institution, if the patient is not taken care of in the appropriate hospital.

This in practice would lead to geographical and chronologic issues determining the costs of healthcare an individual is set to receive. For example, take two insured people who happen to fracture their legs: the one closer to his/her authorized hospital and within consultation hours is in advantage, while the patient who suffered an accident far from his/her authorized hospital and during the evening, will be billed for a much larger sum.

The homeless issue is also cause for concern regarding this new type of geographical authorization system since we are not convinced that medical institutions will provide healthcare for people with no official home address and hence no legal entrance to any hospital according to the new statute-proposal.

The proposal also terminates the transparency of waiting lists thus eliminating outside control and providing feeding ground for misuse and manipulation.

Last but not least, it is shocking to see how the Ministry of Health slowly but surely considers its everyday practice to totally exclude NGO's from voicing their opinions regarding relevant issues, even though it is legally obliged to do so.

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