Politician argues patient fee system needs changing / News / The Foreigner

Politician argues patient fee system needs changing. Conservative Party (H) politician Bent Høie believes it’s time give the system of co-paid patient fees a thorough going-over. He believes today’s arrangement is inadequate for disadvantaged groups. Under the co-payment system, certain types of medical expenses and prescription drugs are covered by the state, with a small excess payable by the patient. Høie says he’d rather substitute it with a solution where those who can’t afford medical care are subsidised by others.

healthcare, co-payment, system, drug, addicts, vulnerable, patients, cost, unfair



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Politician argues patient fee system needs changing

Published on Monday, 21st June, 2010 at 15:00 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Conservative Party (H) politician Bent Høie believes it’s time give the system of co-paid patient fees a thorough going-over. He believes today’s arrangement is inadequate for disadvantaged groups.

Bent Høie
Bent Høie
Photo: ©2009 Kjetil Ree/Wikimedia Commons


Unfair

Under the co-payment system, certain types of medical expenses and prescription drugs are covered by the state, with a small excess payable by the patient.

Høie says he’d rather substitute it with a solution where those who can’t afford medical care are subsidised by others.

“I believe many of us are willing to accept that people with a better personal economy pay a little more to help those who are dependent on drugs, for example. People are very concerned about a fair healthcare system. I believe that ultimately, many are willing to contribute a little more if it leads to better care of the disadvantaged,” he tells Aftenposten.

Unclear

The system has been a political hot potato for several governments since 2001. Høie criticises the government for not doing anything about it.

“It’s an extremely unfair arrangement; a patch that’s repaired every time the Ministry of Finance needs a few extra million kroner. The entire co-payment system needs to be reviewed,” he says.

Health researcher Berit Bringedal supports Høie’s demands, saying nobody knows if the system is working as intended.

“We want to ensure it follows the political and judicial guidelines set out by the government, securing that co-payment for more important healthcare services receives priority,” she tells The Foreigner.

Important

Roger Ingebrigtsen
Roger Ingebrigtsen
HOD/Magnus Ridola
Høie also receives partial backing from Labour’s (Ap) State Secretary Roger Ingebrigtsen at the Ministry of Health and Care Services (Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet).

“I agree with Bent Høie’s views that the most important aspect when setting fees for the users of health services is how to shield the most vulnerable groups. One should look into the question whether we shield those who really need it,” he writes in an email to The Foreigner.

Ingebrigtsen goes on to say the government’s aim is equality of healthcare for everyone.

“In Norway we want to offer equal access to health services, regardless of income, gender, age or ethnicity. We have a long tradition of patient fees for most health services (excluding hospitalisation). It is not unreasonable that most patients pay a fee.

“We are shielding special groups, either by setting a yearly maximum sum of fees for each individual or by waiving the fees for some groups. This includes those with high health costs, chronically ill patients, children, and pregnant women.”



Published on Monday, 21st June, 2010 at 15:00 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: healthcare, co-payment, system, drug, addicts, vulnerable, patients, cost, unfair.





  
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