• The first steps in the healthcare reform may be a fact in February, says Moscov

    December 16, 2014

    A package of legislative measures, which based on their administrative deadlines could come into force in February, was published for public comment last week on the website of the Ministry of Health. The next year measures include a transfer of activities from inpatient to outpatient care, clearer rules for long-term negotiating the prices and volumes of medicines and more stringent conditions for opening new pharmacies and hospitals. This was announced by the Minister of Health Dr. Peter Moscov from the rostrum of the National Assembly during the presentation of the draft budget of the National Health Insurance Fund for 2015. According to him, the proposed budget provides system security.

    The focus of the institution for next year is to improve the quality in the healthcare establishments with which the Health Fund is already working, and the possibility of new hospitals to conclude a contract with the Fund will be limited to a maximum. The restriction is recorded in the transitional and final provisions of the NHIF budget, where it is stated that medical institutions which after December the 31st, 2014 received their first permit for medical activities, as well as medical establishments with new activities, cannot conclude contracts and additional agreements with the National Health Insurance Fund till the end of 2015.

    Additionally, in the middle of the next year a working group with representatives of the state, the Health Insurance Fund and the Medical Association will prepare an annex to the National Framework Agreement for 2015, which will indicate the diseases which could be transferred from inpatient care to outpatient care and thus expenses can be reallocated, pointed out Moskov.

    Another idea is the proposal to the Pharmaceutical Union that is being prepared, according to which new pharmacies may be opened only in places where there are none according to the state standards. Furthermore, according to the Minister, the Health Ministry is in an advanced process of signing a Framework Agreement with pharmacists in which are determined the funding and volumes of drugs for years to come.

    The parameters of the new drugs that will be entered into the positive list necessarily have to be negotiated in advance, is convinced Moskov. At a later stage the introduction of an electronic drug market is being considered. This exists in many countries and has been proven to reduce the cost of the procedures. Such a market would allow hospitals to conduct tenders electronically and would ease the requirements for bidders, which would put at an equal basis the small and the large companies.