Monday, 12 August 2013

17th Sitting of the Health and Family Committee

At the sitting held on 12 August, the Health and Family Committee reviewed the Information concerning the replacement of health insurance cards.


Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic, at whose initiative the Committee sitting to address the issue was convened, listed the reasons why the replacement of the health insurance cards in not necessary at this time, stressing that the introduction of electronic health insurance cards would be an additional expense for the Serbian citizens.
The representatives of the Republic Health Insurance Fund explained that the replacement of health insurance cards was being conducted in accordance with the Information Society Development Strategy in the Republic of Serbia, Health Insurance Law and the Decision on launching the health insurance document replacement project. They also emphasised the advantages of introducing the electronic health insurance card which would enable the automatisation of the validation process, extend the cards’ expiry date to 10 years, as well as result in massive savings listing for example that every year the Republic Health Insurance Fund uses about 6.5 million validation stamps with its total expenses for the replacement of paper-based health insurance cards (about 2.2 million health insurance cards on a yearly basis) and stamps amounting to 45 million RSD a year. The introduction of electronic health insurance cards would eliminate these costs, stressed the representatives of the Republic Health Insurance Fund.
In the ensuing debate, the Committee members shared their views on the replacement of health insurance cards debating whether all the technical requirements for the replacement have been met, and drawing attention to the dilemma of whether the introduction of electronic health insurance cards is a priority for the health care system at present and whether the citizens can afford the 500 RSD needed for the replacement.
Following the debate, the assembly was addressed by Minister of Health Slavica Djukic Dejanovic who stressed that the law must be followed, but that for the majority of Serbian citizens the replacement is not financially feasible, appealing to the MPs for a compromise solution and suggesting that the deadline for the replacement of health insurance cards be extended to 2016/2017 and that socially endangered citizens be issued free electronic health insurance cards.
In addition to the Committee members, representatives of the Republic Health Insurance Fund headed by the Director, Prof. Dr Momcilo Babic, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection Rodoljub Sabic, President of the Serbian Medical Society Prof. Dr Radoje Colakovic, President of the Ethics Committee Dr Paja Momcilov, President of the Union of Serbian Physicians and Pharmacists Executive Board Prim. Dr Nevenka Dimitrijevic, President of the Association for the Protection of the Right to Health “Zdravlje” Miroslav Petrovic and representative of the Hunter Syndrome Association Marija Joldic, also took part in the debate.

The sitting was chaired by Prof. Dr Dusan Milisavljevic, Committee Chairman.


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