Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

Dr. Saso Stefanovski, Health Insurance Fund director: Bigger budget for better healthcare services

Saso Stefanovski 6 (Custom)

In 2016 Macedonia’s Health Insurance Fund has the biggest budget since its establishment. What will most of the assets be spent on?

STEFANOVSKI: The budget of the Fund has been doubled since the Fund was established in November 2000. The 2016 budget is 25 billion and about 600 million denars, which is, again, more about one billion and 400 million denars, compared to the 2015 budget. That means much more assets are available for the healthcare system and much more assets will be invested in improving services. The Fund is a strategic buyer of services from health facilities. We introduced the project this year, which is a direct visit to health facilities and negotiating the budget directly on the ground and we can say that most of the assets will be invested in public health facilities, i.e. implementation of new methods, improvement of existing ones, because we are strongly convinced that the introduction of new methods means progress in medicine. The healthcare in every country is directly related to the economic strength of the country. If in 2006 there were about 560,000 employed people in Macedonia, in 2015 there were 150,000 newly employed people, who allocate a percentage of their own salary and those funds, through the Ministry of Finance, end in the Fund’s budget. The increased number of jobs directly affects the Fund, through the allocation of percentage for health insurance from the gross salary (7.3 percent). That percentage directly ends up in the Fund and we transfer that money to health facilities to ensure sufficient number of health services. This is one of the smallest allocations in the EU.

Saso Stefanovski 2 (Custom)

Most of the assets from the Fund’s budget have been planned for the in vitro fertilization procedure. Is there interest for that?

STEFANOVSKI: The package for the in vitro fertilization procedure, which costs about 80,000 denars, is fully covered by the Fund. I think it is a huge relief for people who apply for in vitro fertilization, and now it also applies to third and fourth child. We have allowed free in vitro fertilization for first, second, third and fourth child up to three attempts in one of the nine institutions with which the Fund has contracted.

Saso Stefanovski 8 (Custom)

The payment of maternity leave has long been a sore spot. Is today the payment of each leave delayed?

STEFANOVSKI: The Fund’s new software has been operating for over six months now, which guarantees month to month payment of maternity leave and other leaves. Without delay. The procedure in that part is completely digitilized, with no human factor, we are connected to the Public Revenue Office from where we “pull out” data on the payments while the person worked. As soon as the insured person realized their the right to leave, they enter into the month to month payment process. The payment of the leave is not connected with the payment of the company’s contributions. Payments are with very high percentage, up to 98 percent. Every mother of a child up to three years has the right to leave on behalf of the child. That can be confirmed by a pediatrician.

Saso Stefanovski 3 (Custom)

 

By: Aleksandra M. Budalevska
Photo credit: Aleksandar Ivanovski