Local News

The Health Insurance Agreement.. Privatization and Destruction of Governmental Hospitals

Amman Today

publish date 2022-03-20 17:49:13

Jordan News

Emad Abdel Karim

Controversy, disagreements and resignations.. the image that accompanied the announcement of the Ministry of Health of signing an agreement between it and private hospitals with the aim of delivering health care and services to government sector employees of the second and third insurance classes in the emergency departments of private sector hospitals.

The differences emerged after the Parliamentary Health Committee in the House of Representatives adopted a memorandum submitted by the national campaign, “Our Health is Right,” where the Committee Chairman, Representative Farid Haddad, addressed the parliament’s presidency to reject the agreement, but a revolution took place in the course of the parliamentary rejection after seven members of the Health Committee announced their resignations, after They signed the parliamentary memorandum that was delivered to the Speaker of the Council, which leads to the dissolution of the Parliamentary Health Committee and the disruption of its role.

Despite the ministry’s statements that the agreement allows about 1.3 million Jordanians to visit emergency departments in private hospitals in return for paying only 20% of the value of the bill, and that about 1.3 million government employees will benefit from it, experts emphasized that it would be unfair to public sector hospitals.

Official information obtained from the website of the Health Insurance Department indicates that the number of hospitals covered by the agreement has reached about 51, more than two-thirds of them in the capital, Amman, while there is only one private hospital in the governorates of Karak, Balqa, Jerash and Madaba, and the governorates of Tafila and Ajloun are devoid of any private hospital. .

Rejection of the agreement and considering it the privatization of the health sector

The National Campaign for Justice in Health Care / Our Health is Right, and with it a number of medical union captains and activists who signed a memorandum in which they rejected the government’s agreement with private hospitals, considering that the agreement will lead to the privatization of the health sector and raise the cost of treatment.

The campaign said, “We have repeatedly warned against the frantic endeavors to destroy the public health sector, in preparation for its liquidation and privatization, and now comes the announcement of the Minister of Health to conclude an agreement with the President of the Private Hospitals Association, to include insured patients and their second and third-degree beneficiaries for treatment in emergency departments in private hospitals and bearing them at a value of 20%. of the value of the treatment, with a ceiling not exceeding one hundred dinars, as the total value of the treatment.”

She stressed, “As we monitor the dangers of these trends, and the systematic process of destruction in favor of the privatization and business approach in health services provided to the citizen, raises many questions and doubts about the real motives behind them, and about the direction of the government’s health policies at the present and future, which paves the way for accelerated steps towards gradual abandonment.” About this sector for the benefit of the private sector, and a blow to the public sector and what it has built for the homeland through its long journey of medical edifices, health facilities, large hospitals, and medical competencies.”

Inability to provide health care for state employees

The former Minister of Health, Dr. Saad Al-Kharabsheh

For his part, the former Minister of Health, Dr. Saad Al-Kharabsheh, said that this agreement entails a great risk to the allocations of the Civil Health Insurance Fund, which contributes to the development and construction of private sector hospitals.

In statements to “Jordan News”, Kharabsheh added that the agreement harms the reputation of the government health sector and raises questions: Are we not able to treat our employees? Does a specific number of state employees of the second and third categories cause confusion for us, and we want to transfer them to private sector hospitals?

Al-Kharabsheh indicated that we understand the work or signing of some agreements with the private sector due to the lack of them in public sector hospitals, whether using expertise or making contracts for doctors or resorting to referring the patient due to shortage or pressure on the family, but that we make an agreement in which we dispense with or waive the role of old hospitals More than 50 years, it doesn’t make sense.

He stressed that we support the partnership between the public and private sectors, but that it be based on need and not on personal interests or unthought-out trends that lead to negative consequences for our government sector.

Al-Kharabsheh indicated that we will reach a stage where no government hospitals will be found, or they will become unprepared to receive patients and visitors, and the option will be for us to switch to private sector hospitals, wondering at the same time about the fate of investing millions of dinars in developing government sector hospitals.

The private hospital lobby imposes its control

For his part, the media expert in health sector issues, Hatem Al-Azra’i, considered that government hospitals will be the most victims of the agreement, as the agreement will deprive them of opportunities for modernization and development after the latter drains the health insurance fund and hijacks its financial resources to spend on treating new groups.

Al-Azra’i added in an exclusive statement to “Jordan News” that the agreement comes at this time with the support and pressure from the “lobby” of private hospitals, as the Ministry of Health did not care about the interests of three and a half million subscribers and beneficiaries of civil health insurance.

Al-Azra’i stressed that the agreement would cause great harm, not only to the health insurance fund, but also to the health insured, noting that the severe negative impact would be on the Ministry of Health hospitals.

He was surprised by the official neglect and marginalization of government hospitals in general, and ministry hospitals in particular, in a systematic and educative manner, and that the goal is to seek their privatization, and turn this into a popular demand because of the poor services they provide to their clients from believers and others.

He continued, “To be precise, the minority of the new groups can benefit from private hospitals, because the majority of the latter are concentrated in the capital, Amman, and a number that does not exceed the fingers of one hand in the governorates, while many governorates are completely devoid of any private hospital.”

He said that what is required today is to direct the budget and financial allocations from the Civil Health Insurance Fund to develop, modernize and strengthen government hospitals with the necessary cadres to enable them to face challenges, foremost of which is the increase in the number of auditors, waiting queues and overcrowding.

Collapse and indebtedness to the Health Insurance Fund

For his part, a former member of the Medical Syndicate, Dr. Hazem Al-Qarala, believes that the only drawback to the agreement that treats public sector employees of the second and third grade is paid from the Health Insurance Fund, which suffers from financial indebtedness to date, nearly half a billion dinars.

Al-Qaralla pointed out that the fund’s revenues during the years 2020 and 2021 are about 187 million dinars, and the current expenses of the fund amount to 183 million dinars, with a deficit of up to 7 million dinars, in addition to the incentives for doctors that are paid from the fund, which means that the deficit in the fund or the indebtedness reaches from 12-13 million, so how This fund can account for new patients under the new agreement.

And he indicated that the only revenues of the fund are the subscriptions of citizens in addition to the treatment fees in hospitals, as treatment fees will decline due to treatment in private hospitals according to the agreement, noting that the independent fund has two options: either the government pays from its budget and this is not possible, or after a while it is forced to raise The value of the monthly contributions on the insured to cover the deficit and this will affect the citizen directly.

He stressed that any national government step or plan is supposed to be well-thought-out, foreseeable and logical. Otherwise, how will the reality before us be dealt with in light of a fund that suffers from indebtedness, especially since private hospitals were set among the conditions that the government be held accountable for the costs of treating patients during 60 days of treatment.

He explained that the amount expected to be incurred by the fund due to the agreement amounts to about 150 million dinars, noting that if the amount was exploited or invested in the development of government sector hospitals, the result would have been a difference in the health service.

#Health #Insurance #Agreement #Privatization #Destruction #Governmental #Hospitals

Jordan News

Source : اخبار الاردن

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