Due to the lack of quorum on Friday, discussions around the Health Insurance Act will continue early next Wednesday.
The idea of splitting the health package into basic and additional has been essentially adopted by a majority in the parliament.
On Thursday, the MPs devoted most of their working day to the Health Insurance Act changes, introduced by Minister Petar Moskov. The draft bill went to second reading, where each paragraph is to be voted separately.
The deputies managed to adopt the first three paragraphs, which regulate the technical removal of the word “basic” package from the current law. This means that the main division of the packages into basic and additional is already a fact, although the whole bill is still far from being adopted.
Up to this moment the law stated: “The compulsory healthcare insurance provides a basic package of health services guaranteed by the NHIF budget.” The word “basic” has been removed from this text. The change has been adopted with the votes of the ruling majority.
According to the Minister of Health both – public payments and patients’ out-of-pocket payments – have been increasing during the last ten years. However, the nation’s health indicators have not been improving, but have been getting worse than the European average, explained the Health Minister.
According to Petar Moskov, the argumentation that each patient had been receiving timely treatment for everything then was obviously false and this was easily verifiable and indisputable. For this reason, Moscov believes that the introduction of a basic and an additional package would ensure 100% coverage of the main causes of the nation’s ill health indicators. Which activities would be placed in the basic package and which – in the additional one still remains unknown. The Ministry of Health is to issue a Regulation regarding this issue.
“The person suffering from heart attack will be admitted to hospital immediately, but whoever wakes up with a pimple on his cheek – will have to wait a little,” defended the idea of Moscov the MP from party GERB Semir Abu Melih.
The session on Friday was not held. The reason was that the MPs failed to form a quorum three times.
It was expected that day that the MPs would begin working on the draft bill with a text, with which almost no group in Parliament agreed – the one to increase the state quota in the NHIF Supervisory Board. The text provides its representatives be increased from four to six, thus the state would receive complete advantage over the other supervisory members. The argument of the Minister for proposing this text was that it would secure the ministry the ability to perform smoothly the policy, which it produced and implemented, and be held responsible for it. The arguments of the opponents of the idea were that the state is among the most defaulting payers of health insurance.
Currently the Supervisory Board of the NHIF consists of nine members, the state representatives being four and those of employers, trade unions and patient organizations – a total of five.
After the failed Parliament Friday session, the adopting of the HIA can continue early next Wednesday.