Gov't Submits Bill on Healthcare System Improvements

Government

The government has submitted a bill to lawmakers that would implement measures "necessary for the renewal" of the country's healthcare system, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday, state news wire MTI.

The ministry reiterated the government's commitment to higher remuneration in the healthcare sector and said the bill contains pay rises and establishes a "more transparent, more unified" system for allowances and benefits.

The bill also aims to bolster primary care in the interest of strengthening diagnosis and expediting treatment, while evening out regional differences in the accessibility and quality of primary care. To achieve that goal, the bill would assign a bigger role to the state in running GP surgeries together with local councils.

Health visitors would remain employees of local hospitals, preserving their professional independence, it added.

The bill would give county hospitals greater powers to organize patient care, while city hospitals would be responsible for health screening and assigning GPs' on-call schedules, the ministry said. No hospitals will close, but task-sharing within counties would become "much more efficient and more secure from the view of the patient", it added.

The bill would transfer care of elderly patients who don't require medical treatment from departments in hospitals to nursing homes and care centers.

The ministry reaffirmed the government's commitment to reducing waiting times for medical procedures and improving the health screening system.

The ministry noted that the changes in the bill are justified by experience gained during the coronavirus pandemic and address "typical problems" arising in patient care.

Other elements outlined in the justification of the bill, submitted to parliament on Tuesday, include expanding the role of the ambulance service in providing on-call care, requiring primary care software to comply with legal requirements, and expanding rules on the certification of healthcare workers.

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