What medical services should be paid for?

A press conference
was held about the new federal law on healthcare. After long disputes between
officials and medical professionals, the new law on healthcare was adopted at
second reading by the State Duma on 21 October. Before this, more than 550
amendments had been discussed, some of which were adopted. Leonid Roshal, President
of the Medical Chamber, said that the medical profession could be satisfied
that they ensured that the bill was debated in depth. Four round tables were
held at which even opponents of the new law, such as The Patients’ Protection
League  and the Pirogov Movemnet of
Doctors of Russia, were able to state their views and make suggestions. As a
result of these debates, 109 amendments were adopted, some of which concern paid
medical services.

Mr Roshal considers
that only those services which are desired by patients for their additional
comfort should be paid for. If a patient wants five television sets and six
toilets in his room, then let him pay for them, he said. But, he said,
foreigners should pay for their treatment, as should people who do not have compulsory
medical insurance. However, emergency treatment should be free for all
patients, he added. Patients should also pay for treatment which is not
prescribed by a doctor. The law should have an addendum, with a list of
treatments which are free and those which should be paid for. Vladimir
Starodubov, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and
Chairman of the Council of the charity “Health”, said the law is a framework.
About a hundred or more subsidiary acts will need to be adopted for it to
function properly. He thought the law would improve the situation regarding
healthcare. Among the amendments which improved the law, he cited the priority
accorded to preventative action. Also there are now sections on transplants and
maternal care, including the issue of surrogate motherhood. The law is expected
to enter force by the end of 2011.


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